Cowboys return to practice field after tragic few days

Cowboys return to practice field after tragic few days

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and his wife arrive for the memorial service for practice squad player Jerry Brown Jr.

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA Sports

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM

IRVING -– The Dallas Cowboys were still thinking about Tuesday's memorial service for Jerry Brown Jr. when they took the field at Valley Ranch Wednesday.

The strength that Brown's mother showed at the service impressed everyone, including head coach Jason Garrett.

"I thought the memorial was incredible on so many different levels," Garrett said. "Jerry's mom, Stacy Jackson, was as a remarkable thing as I've ever seen in my life, to be honest with you. The strength that she demonstrates, the faith that she has, her ability to understand and have peace in this situation so quickly is remarkable."

After two days off, the Cowboys were able to get back on the practice field again and start thinking again about football. They've got four days to prepare for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but no one really knows what to expect as they try to get their energy level back after a tragic few days.

"The message that comes from me and from everyone is that we have to keep moving forward," Garrett said. "That's part of life. We have to do that individually, we have to do that collectively, and that's just part of this process, unfortunately."

Cowboys fullback Lawrence Vickers said Wednesday was a step forward.

"Today was a regular Wednesday," Vickers said. "We bounced around a little bit, knocked out the cob webs, and stayed focused on Pittsburgh, that's the task at hand."

"It's been upbeat, man," said Cowboys defensive lineman Jason Hatcher. "It was hard last week initially, but it’s been upbeat. Guys are kind of getting their energy back. I'm back to being me."

Taking some time to reflect after an emotional weekend was for the best, according to safety Danny McCray.

"We got to take those two days off and think about life instead of football," McCray said. "We got to back away from it a little bit. I think coming back into it, people are kind of refreshed. It’s not on our minds as heavy as it was in the beginning. It’s still there, but I think it'll be easier for us to prepare for football."

They'll be preparing without defensive tackle Josh Brent, who was put on the non-football illness list and will be out for the rest of the season. Players offered their support to Brent at the service on Tuesday.

"He needed it because it’s easy in that situation to feel alone," Hatcher said. "Like I said, he's got brothers around. He's got guys that actually care about him on this team, and we're not there for the media. We actually hug his neck as a brother. I hugged him as my brother, my little brother, that's the way I feel about him. Again, I love him with all my heart. I'll do anything the world to help him out through this process and I will. He's going to get tired of seeing me, because I'm going to be there to support him.”

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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