“I have 20 grandchildren and Jerry is the oldest,” Clark said. “They all looked up to him. They praised him. They were all really upset and crying. They are going to miss their big cousin. He was one in a million.”
The accident happened hours before Brent was to be on a team flight to Cincinnati. Before Sunday’s game, the Bengals held a moment of silence before the national anthem. Most Cowboys bowed their heads, and Dallas quarterback Tony Romo and several other players had their hands over their hearts.
“First of all we all know, but we remind ourselves that there is something more important than football, and this is life, and certainly the lost life of Jerry,” Jones said. “On the other hand, they know the best way they can honor Jerry, because he was such a hard worker, so conscientious and enthusiastic about his career.”
It marked the second straight week the NFL found itself dealing with a tragedy right before gameday.
Last Saturday, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend before killing himself in front of his coach and general manager. The 25-year-old Belcher shot himself in the parking lot at the team’s practice complex at Arrowhead Stadium.
In 2009, Brent pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years of probation, according to court records.
AP Sports Writer Joe Kay in Cincinnati and AP writers Sara Burnett and Michelle Janaye Nealy in Chicago contributed to this report.