Grieving Cowboys beat Bengals day after player death
CINCINNATI, Ohio (AFP) –
The Dallas Cowboys, grieving the death of reserve Jerry Brown in a car crash with teammate Josh Brent at the wheel, persevered to beat Cincinnati 20-19 and keep their NFL playoff hopes alive.
Brent, who had moved into a starting role at nose tackle with Jay Ratliff nursing an injury, was arrested and charged with drink driving manslaughter in the Dallas suburb of Irving on Saturday in the wake of the one-car crash that cost Brown his life.
Brent was freed from jail on bond on Sunday as the Cowboys rallied to edge a Bengals team that was riding a four-game winning streak.
“We obviously had a very difficult situation, a tragedy, happen to our football team,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said.
“It’s been really emotional for everybody. All we asked our team was … to some how, some way, channel all the emotions they had into honoring Jerry in their performance.”
The Cowboys trailed by nine midway through the fourth quarter, but Dan Bailey booted a 40-yard field goal as time expired to seal the victory.
That followed a 27-yard touchdown pass from Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to Dez Bryant with 6:35 to play, which sliced the deficit to 19-17.
“We needed to win,” Romo said. “Our team continues to be mentally tough and staying in this thing. I’m proud of our guys.”
The game was preceded by a moment of silence — the second time in a week that the NFL paused to mark a tragedy.
Last Sunday, there was a moment of silence at Kansas City in support of domestic violence victims — a day after Chiefs player Jovan Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself.