IRVING, Texas –Moving past the death of Jerry Brown will be easier said than done for the Cowboys following the former linebacker's memorial service this week.
Before focusing on the Steelers, the Cowboys used their Tuesday to commemorate Brown during a ceremony that Garrett described as remarkable and incredible, particularly regarding the strength of Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson.
"It was as remarkable thing as I've ever seen in my life, to be honest with you," Garrett said. "I spoke to her after the game and got a chance to visit with her prior to the memorial, and the strength that she demonstrates, the faith that she has, her ability to understand and have peace in this situation so quickly is remarkable."
Garrett said Jackson has been a rock for a grieving team throughout the last few days. She also hasn't abandoned nose tackle Josh Brent, despite his role in her son's death.
"You can tell that she has so much love, and her family has so much love for Josh, and there's been a real connection there for a long time," Garrett said. "The closeness they've had since they were together at Illinois and since they've been down here, she loves and cares about him very much. She, too, wants to support him in any way that she can, along with us and everybody here at the Cowboys. Again, it was remarkable. She's a really, really strong woman, a special woman, in light of these circumstances. It's like nothing I've ever seen."
Jonathan Evans and Tony Evans administered the memorial, according to Garrett. He said it's hard for anyone to provide perspective during this time.
"It's hard to understand why something like this happens, and they did a great job trying to do that for us yesterday," Garrett said. "There was a lot of love in that room, there's no question about that, a lot of love for Jerry and his family, a lot of love for Josh Brent, and it was palpable to all of us. I don't how you heal from this situation, but I know a memorial service like that certainly contributes to helping everybody heal and move forward."
Moving forward will be crucial for a Cowboys team in the thick of the playoff race, but Garrett admits it will be a challenge. He said the team must balance remembering and honoring Brown while getting back to their lives and getting back to work. As they do so, they will continue to support and be around for Brent.
Garrett said he's still talking to the league to figure out a way that Brent can visit his teammates and coaches at Valley Ranch, even after Brian Schaefering took his roster spot. Garrett said he feels strongly about Brent being able to remain in contact with the team, and he doesn't fear that supporting Brent sends any sort of message that the defensive lineman's actions are condoned.
"He's one of our own," Garrett said. "He's one of our family. We need to make sure that he can be around us on a daily basis, providing the structure, helping him get himself physically back to where he needs to be, but also just the emotional support that we can give him."