DALLAS -- Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Dwayne Goodrich relived his own tragedy this past weekend when he heard about the death of Cowboys practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown Jr.

It was a nightmare. It was like reliving the nightmare over, and over, and over again, Goodrich said.

His thoughts went immediately to Brown's family and nose tackle Josh Brent, who was driving the car Brown was riding in when he died in the early hours of Saturday. Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter.

Over the next few months, [Brent] is going to be embarrassed, Goodrich said. I mean, there are so many words I can use to describe -- it s just painful. It hurts. It's going to hurt for a long time.

In 2003, Goodrich was involved in a hit-and-run accident that killed two people on Stemmons Freeway. He served six years in prison.

I still deal with it every day, Goodrich said. It's brought back so many memories. It's painful, everyday to just think about things like that.

In 2006, Goodrich faced more sentencing for failing to stop and render aid. That's when he met face-to-face with Shuki Joseph, the man who was injured when Goodrich swerved to avoid a burning car.

Joseph had three words for Goodrich that the former Cowboys defender will never forget.

I forgive you, Joseph said in court that day.

Facing more jail time, Goodrich could hardly contain his remorse and began to cry.

Knowing that I almost took this man's life and he actually got up there and said, 'I forgive you' -- that was powerful, Goodrich said. I mean, that was probably the best feelings of my life, just know[ing] that he forgave me.

These days, Goodrich shares his experience with college athletes, hoping his story will save a life.

He said the NFL has a service that players can call when they're out, but it s rarely used because players are afraid word will get back to the team and jeopardize their jobs.

Okay, let's just say you have a young man that goes out two nights a week, and he called this car service, Goodrich said. And the team gets a report of this, 'Oh, what are you doing going out two nights a week?' and you're worried about your job being in jeopardy, so a lot of people feel like, that false sense of security -- even though it's a confidential service, they're thinking it might not be so confidential. But the alternative if somebody did find out is a lot better than what happened this past weekend.

His advice to Brent at this point is simple.

Just pray, and get a solid support system around you, Goodrich said. I think that's the biggest advice that I can give. Just stay prayerful. I know firsthand the emotions that he's going through; the guilt, the humility, the embarrassment. It's just tough. You have to stay prayerful and you have to have a good support system around you.


Read or Share this story: