The third-round draft choice in the 2009 draft was lifting weights as he got ready to begin his professional career.
"I was doing a dumbbell press with 135-pound dumbbells in each hand," he said. "I was literally doing my last rep when I heard it pop."
"It" was the pectoral muscle on the right side of Brewster's chest. An MRI showed the muscle had ruptured and pulled away from the bone in his shoulder.
Brewster's life was changed immediately.
After surgery to repair the muscle, he had to alter virtually everything he did. He learned to drive with one hand. He dialed his phone only with his left thumb. He wrote left-handed.
His rookie season lost, Brewster went about the arduous task of rehabilitation.
"I started on a machine that was kind of like a bench press, pushing 25 pounds," he said. "Getting my strength back was slow. I didn't know if I'd ever be as strong as I was.
"But I am — stronger, actually. I maxed out (on the bench press) last Friday at 405 pounds. Before I got hurt, the most I ever lifted was a little over 350."
Brewster's claim of improved physical strength is easy to believe, because his physique looks far stronger and more athletic than a year ago. He is the one who has put the time in getting back into shape, but he is quick to share the credit with Cowboys strength coach Joe Juraszek and his staff.
"I worked with Joe and his staff all offseason," Brewster said. "They were great. They drove me, they challenged me, they pushed me. They kept my hopes up, too. This whole thing has been frustrating at times, and they really helped me push through.
"I'm stronger now than I was before, and it's because of Joe and his guys. They're the best at what they do, and they're the reason I'm back to where I am."
Where Brewster is is back in the rotation of backup tackles. During the team "teaching sessions" over the last couple of months, Brewster has worked at both left and right tackle; in this week's OTA, he is working exclusively on the right side.
Brewster also said that is not bothered by the fact that despite the fact that he was drafted in the third round a year ago, the Cowboys have traded for Alex Barron and drafted Sam Young, to go along with starters Marc Colombo and Doug Free.
"I'm going to keep showing up and doing my work," Brewster said. "I'm going to show them that they've got somebody right here.
"I'm going to show them what I can do, how hard I'll work and how bad I want it. My time is coming."
Coming Back Strong
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