NFL notebook: Cowboys’ Brent doesn’t want death in crash to be ‘in vain’
Josh Brent is playing football again for one reason: Jerry Brown.
“Honestly, to make sure that Jerry’s name doesn’t die in vain,” Brent said Wednesday when asked why he decided to resume his career.
Brent gave his first interview since his January conviction of intoxication manslaughter. The Cowboys defensive tackle was the driver in the 2012 crash that killed Brown, his friend and a Dallas practice squad player.
It was a short session, lasting less than 3 minutes before a Cowboys spokesman cut it off and shielded Brent while he remained in the locker room for a few more minutes.
“Jerry was a great person, a great player and had a bright future,” Brent said. “And, once again, a mistake that I made took that away from him, took that away from his daughter, took that away from his mother.”
The 26-year-old Brent retired just before the 2013 season as he awaited trail. According to police accounts and blood tests taken later, Brent’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit for drivers in Texas when he was speeding in his Mercedes sedan and struck a curb in the Dallas suburb of Irving. Brown was in the passenger’s seat.
Brent avoided prison, getting an automatic 180-day jail sentence when a 10-year prison term was suspended. He was also ordered to attend alcohol rehabilitation sessions, some of which happened after he was released to a halfway house.
The NFL reinstated Brent in September and suspended him for the first 10 games. The Cowboys activated him Tuesday.
He can play Nov. 23 at the Giants, following this week’s bye.
Brent and Brown were teammates at Illinois, where they also spent time around Brown’s mom, Stacey Jackson. She has said she would like Brent to resume his career.
“I miss Jerry,” said Brent, dressed in a white Cowboys workout shirt with the team’s blue star logo on it and surrounded by cameras in a corner near his locker. “That was my best friend. To know that he’s not here because of a mistake that I made that could have been prevented, it hurts me every day.”
Rams switch QBs, Hill to start
Rams coach Jeff Fisher benched struggling quarterback Austin Davis and will go back to veteran Shaun Hill for Sunday’s game against the Broncos.
Fisher said Monday he was sticking with Davis, who made his NFL debut earlier this season after Hill was sidelined with an injury.
Hill began the season as the replacement for Sam Bradford, who was sidelined for the second straight year with a knee injury. However, Hill injured his thigh in the opener.
Davis had two interceptions and lost a fumble in the fourth quarter in Sunday’s 31-14 loss at Arizona. The Rams had led 14-10 entering the quarter.
Chargers LB Te’o returns to practice
Chargers inside linebacker Manti Te’o returned to practice after missing six games with a broken right foot.
Running back Ryan Mathews, out since spraining his right knee in a victory against Seattle on Sept. 14, is expected to play in Sunday’s home game against Oakland.
Cowboys’ Bryant on contract talks: ‘Don’t test my loyalty’
Receiver Dez Bryant can’t see himself with any other team and he wants to retire a member of the Cowboys.
But Bryant is admittedly frustrated with the protracted negotiations with the Cowboys on a long-term contract extension.
And while he appreciates the way the Cowboys have stood by him during some off the field issues as he has matured during his four years in Texas, he said it’s all about respect and loyalty.
“I just know what I’m going to accept and I know what I’m not going to accept,” Bryant said. “You know, it’s not about the money. It’s not about none of that. I just feel like a little respect should play a factor in that. I love it here. I really do. But every day you grow. Let’s see what happens. It’s all about respect. It’s all about respect. I am a very loyal person, but just don’t test my loyalty.”
Bryant is in the last year of his rookie deal and has been in talks with the Cowboys since last spring about a long-term extension.
Around the league
Giants running back Rashad Jennings, who missed the last four weeks with sprained knee, hopes to be back in the lineup Sunday when the Giants face the 49ers. … Browns Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron was back on the field after missing the past two games with a concussion and should play in Sunday’s game against Houston. The Seahawks are placing tight end Zach Miller on injured reserve after he struggled in returning from ankle surgery. … The Saints placed receiver Joseph Morgan back on the active roster, ending his two-game suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules. They also placed rookie safety Vinnie Sunseri (forearm) on injured reserve.