Players get needed day off

December, 10, 2012
12/10/12
7:03
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- Normally the Cowboys players would have been at their Valley Ranch facility working out, getting medical treatment, reviewing game film of the previous game and attending meetings.

Not so Monday.

Coach Jason Garrett gave his team a day off and made it optional for players to come in. Several players did, including Josh Brent, who is out on bail after he was involved in a one-car accident that led to the death of practice squad player Jerry Brown early Saturday morning.

Garrett wanted his team to rest following an emotional weekend in which his group dealt with the loss of two teammates.

"Our players have been through so much the last few days," Garrett said. "As you can imagine, players are really close, teammates are really close, the team is really close and this was a very emotional couple of days for everybody. I thought our players did an amazing job, somehow, some way, processing what went on and then challenging their emotion to play a football game. I just think they needed a rest, they needed a break, they didn't need structure. They didn't need me standing in front of them in a team meeting, or going over film in a real structured manner. We said come on in, the doors are open, we'd love to see you, the weight room is open, the film room is open, certainly the trainer's room is open and we got to see a number of players in a more relaxed atmosphere, obviously. Some of them are still grieving the loss. Emotionally they're spent, it's a difficult time for them. But again, we want to let them know that we're there for them. We're all there for each other."

The next time the players will gather together is Tuesday, when a memorial service will take place for Brown.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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