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Dallas Cowboys unaware Josh Brent would be at game

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent's appearance on the sideline Sunday raised a lot of eyebrows.

We have a hard time mustering faux outrage at such an inconsequential gesture, but apparently the appearance caught most Cowboys officials by surprise, too.

David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reported Monday that the team didn't know Brent would be there. His presence was a surprise to owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett.

Teammates implored Brent, who is charged with vehicular manslaughter related to teammate Jerry Brown Jr.'s death, to come to the game. Like any other player on the non-football injury list or injury reserve, Brent can show up any time before a game and gain access.

Jones defended Brent's place on the Cowboys' sideline Sunday, noting the team was following the lead of Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson. She has forgiven Brent and implored the team to support him.

The Cowboys have supported Brent in every way, although they might try to keep him out of the public eye in the future. Moore indicates Brent likely will not be on the sideline at future games.

UPDATE: Garrett confirmed later Monday that Brent's appearance was a surprise, and he didn't even know about it until pregame warmups.

"Our players have been over to his house, and they've been in contact with him and very close to him," Garrett said, via ESPNDallas.com. "So, you know, I didn't actually know he was going to be at the game. But again, we're trying to handle it day by day and work our way through it. We'll have some more discussions about that going forward."

According to Garrett, Brent left in the third quarter when he believed he was becoming a distraction and that "there were no bad intentions other than to support Josh as part of our football team."

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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