IRVING, Texas (AP) — Josh Brent and Jerry Brown met in college, forming a close, unshakeable bond. Having realized his NFL dream, Brent was trying to help his roommate do the same.
But Brent wasn't starting on Dallas' defensive line when the Cowboys kicked off in Cincinnati on Sunday. He was in jail, accused of driving drunk and causing a fatal accident in the Dallas suburb of Irving.
And Brown, who'd just landed a spot on the Cowboys' practice squad, wasn't watching the Cowboys' 20-19 victory over the Bengals. He was the 25-year-old passenger in Brent's car, which struck a curb and flipped in the pre-dawn hours Saturday.
Brown, an expectant father, had promised his family that he would play professional football full-time, his grandmother said.
"He lived for football," Theresa Clark, 63, of St. Louis, told The Associated Press on Sunday. "He loved it with all his heart."
Brent, a 6-foot-5-inch, 320-pound nose guard, was arrested at the scene of the accident Saturday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, a charge upped to intoxication manslaughter after Brown died.
Attorney George Milner complained that Brent's $500,000 bond was set "16 times higher than it would have been for anybody that doesn't play for the Dallas Cowboys." He said the bond amount was more than the Cowboys authorized him to post and wasn't sure when his client would be released.
The two athletes' friendship, which blossomed during their three seasons at the University of Illinois, was obvious to those who knew them.
"You can't get any tighter than those two," Milner said, crossing his index and middle fingers. "It was the closest family he had was Jerry Brown."
The circumstances surrounding Brown's death didn't change his family's view of their relationship, either.
"I'm quite sure that Jerry thought the world of him and respected that young man," Clark said of Brent.
According to a probable cause affidavit released Sunday by Irving police, officers said they detected "a moderate odor of alcohol" from Brent's breath and that he "admitted to consuming alcohol at a club," but wouldn't identify which one. Police said Brent gave a blood sample at the hospital on Saturday.
Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson of Champaign, Ill., confirmed Brown's final Facebook post from Nov. 29, in which he wrote that he was expecting a child and "how the fast life isn't as fun as it use to be after living it for so long."
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