Posted on December 10, 2012 at 3:31 AM
Monday, Oct 21 at 4:56 PM
Linebacker Jerry Brown's jersey, draped over the Cowboys bench, created the perfect symbolism for this Cowboys triumph. Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten certainly thought it added some meaning.
"Come into the locker room here in the morning.. there's his jersey hanging there, you know. It never leaves."
The emotion was outward and raw for some, while others went about trying to cope and prepare quietly.
The Cowboys faced a game like no other... dealing with sudden tragic circumstance. Fullback Lawrence Vickers did his best to help teammates channel all that emoations.
"You got two young guys fighting to be where we are at this moment. Too young guys. This opportunity slip[ped]. Slip[ped] from in front of you.... that's wrong," said a visibly emotional Vickers after the game.
After the game, head coach Jason Garrett talked for nearly six minutes non-stop about the situation. He said the team is still numb, but he asked them to find a way to do their job today. Players said their best allies in that fight were the other guys in the locker room. Quarterback Tony Romo may have put it best.
"People wil deal with it in different ways, and you just thave to find a way to stay together as a football team. And as a family. That's what you have to do."
Perhaps the most grief-stricken Cowboy is cornerback Brandon Carr. In two weeks, he's watched a former teammate and a teammate pass away. Carr played in Kansas City with former Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher whose murder-suicide shocked that city. And now Carr is dealing with Jerry Brown's tragedy. Carr's interception led to the Cowboys' first touchdown.
"The interception was for a lot of heavy hearts. Including mine." said the cornerback, who seemed to be fighting tears for much of the postgame interview. "You know, for everyone who's grieving right now, going through the storms."
Jason Witten was inspired by the team's resilience.
"We got our teeth kicked in last night. I couldn't be prouder of the way guys rallied it up and played so hard."
Garrett's post-game address was the most emotional and genuine we've seen him all year; a truly meaningful speech that resonated at the time and should continue to do so through multiple listens.
"I'm never gonna forget the way this football team came together and honored Jerry Brown and his family. We'll continue to mourn his loss, we'll continue to miss him -- we'll never forget him," said the Cowboys' head coach.
The Cowboys found a way to deal and win today. But there's more mourning and grieving ahead... and many more tough days to navigate.