Dallas Cowboys players involved in fatal crash were ‘like brothers’

CNN Wire Service

Dallas Cowboys teammates Josh Brent and Jerry Brown Jr. were “like brothers” and “the best of friends,” Brown’s mother and grandmother said Monday, showing no ill will toward the man who may be responsible for the loss of their family member.

The teammates were involved in a fiery weekend car crash. Brown was killed, and Brent was arrested on suspicion of intoxication manslaughter. He was released from jail Sunday on $500,000 bond.

Asked whether she was angry when she heard that alcohol could have been a contributing factor in the crash, Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, said that she was and that she feels for Brent and his family.

“I was upset, but I realize, you know, our youth today are young and stupid. And we was all once that age and we done things that we are not proud of,” she said during an interview on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight.”

“I know Josh Brent, and he’s been part of our family since Jerry went to the University of Illinois. That’s all I can do, is pray for him and his family because I know he’s hurting just as well as we are because him and Jerry was like brothers.”

A Mercedes Brent was driving flipped and caught fire early Saturday in Irving, Texas, the Dallas suburb where the Cowboys are based. Police said the car was traveling at high speed when it hit a curb.

“My heart, every part of me aches,” Brown’s grandmother, Theresa Clark, said on “Piers Morgan Tonight.”

“That young man, Josh. I pray, I pray for him too because he has feelings and he has a heart. And he loved Jerry. They were the best of friends. I have no ill feelings toward him,” she said. “He was a beautiful friend.”

Brown, 25, was an outside linebacker on the Dallas practice squad.

In a statement issued through his agent Saturday night, Brent said he was “devastated” over the accident and “filled with grief for the loss of my close friend and teammate, Jerry Brown.”

“I am also grief-stricken for his family, friends and all who were blessed enough to have known him. I will live with this horrific and tragic loss every day for the rest of my life,” he said.

Brent, 24, is in his third season with the Cowboys. The charge he faces is a second-degree felony that carries a potential two- to 20-year prison sentence with a maximum $10,000 fine.

Brent pleaded guilty to a DUI charge in 2009, according to court records in Champaign, Illinois, where he played football with Brown at the University of Illinois. He received a 60-day sentence, a fine and 200 hours of community service.

— CNN’s Lateef Mungin, Chandler Friedman and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.