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Dallas Cowboys ban Josh Brent from sideline

The Dallas Cowboys will no longer permit Josh Brent to be on the sidelines during games while he's on the reserve/non-football illness list, Cowboys sources told's Ian Rapoport on Tuesday.

Brent, who faces an intoxication manslaughter charge in the drunk-driving death of teammate Jerry Brown, was on the bench during the 27-24 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both Brent and the Cowboys were heavily criticized. CBS analyst Boomer Esiason called it "disgraceful."

Brent's season was ended when the Cowboys placed him on the reserve/non-football injury list last week. Those players are normally allowed to be on the sidelines, but Brent's situation is obviously unique. The NFL deferred all decisions to the team, according to Rapoport.

"It becomes a real sensitive topic to a lot of people when you're in a public place like the game," coach Jason Garrett said Monday. "There were no bad intentions other than to support Josh as part of our football team. This is a game and you need to be here. That's what our players wanted to convey to him and they really encouraged him to come to the game.

"I thought Josh handled it beautifully the way that he came and then when he felt like there were some issues he felt the right thing to do was to leave. But we're going to support him in every way that we can. We also will be sensitive to this kind of issue."

The situation is tricky for Dallas. Brent made a mistake that resulted in a death. Drunk driving is not acceptable, but the accident was not intentional. The team and Brent's teammates can't be expected to just turn their backs on him. Even Brown's mother has backed Brent. The decision is for the best. His public presence brings unwanted attention. But Brent will (and should) continue to be supported by those close to him - which includes much of the organization.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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