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Cowboys player out on bail after arrest in crash that killed teammate

From Lateef Mungin, Chandler Friedman and Greg Botelho, CNN
updated 5:42 PM EST, Mon December 10, 2012
  • NEW: Josh Brent is released Sunday from Irving City jail, a source at the jail says
  • Brent, 24, was driving when his car flipped and caught fire early Saturday, police say
  • His teammate Jerry Brown, a passenger, was pronounced dead at a hospital
  • The Cowboys win on a last-second score despite their "numbness," head coach says

Program Note: Piers Morgan talks to the family of Jerry Brown Jr. tonight at 9 ET on Piers Morgan Tonight.

(CNN) -- Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent was released from jail on $500,000 bond Sunday -- around the time his team pulled off an emotional, last-second win -- after his arrest in the fiery weekend car crash that killed his teammate.

Brent was arrested on suspicion of intoxication manslaughter after a Mercedes he was driving flipped and caught fire early Saturday in Irving, Texas, the Dallas suburb where the Cowboys are based. He was out of the Irving City jail by 4:45 p.m. (5:45 p.m. ET), said a source at the jail who identified himself only by the last name McBride.

Police said Brent's car was traveling at high speed when it hit a curb, and officers on the scene "believed alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash."

In an arrest affidavit released Sunday, police reported that Brent was pulling his teammate, Jerry Brown Jr., from the wrecked vehicle when officers reached the scene of the crash. He refused a blood test, but police were able to take a sample from him because the case involved a fatality, the affidavit states.

The car traveled about 900 feet after hitting the curb, said police spokesman John Argumaniz. The 25-year-old Brown, an outside linebacker on the Dallas practice squad, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Cowboys players were told of Brown's death on their flight east Saturday for a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, said head coach Jason Garrett. They talked more extensively about the situation during meetings that night.

"My memory is of a big strapping guy with a bright smile on his face, bright eyes, bounce in his step every time I saw him," Garrett said. "Twenty-five years old, he's no longer with us. And that's hard for everybody to handle."

Despite their heavy hearts, the Cowboys rallied Sunday from nine points down in the game's final minutes to beat the Bengals 20-19 on a last-second Dan Bailey field goal. Emotional players and coaches could be seen hugging afterward, with defensive lineman Jason Hatcher holding up Brown's No. 53 jersey.

"I think there was a feeling of numbness out on the field today, but somehow (the players) focused ... and we figured out a way to win," said Garrett, who added that he talked with Brown's mother after the game. "I thought we honored him as well as he could be honored."

Brent, 24, is in his third season with the Cowboys. He appeared for arraignment Sunday morning and did not enter a plea during the brief hearing, according to a detention officer who requested anonymity because she was not authorized to talk to news outlets.

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.

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 team mate, 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," the statement said.

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 reported from Atlanta. CNN's Jason Durand contributed to this report.

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