The vastly-experienced former Sheffield United centre-half, in his first league appearance since last April, produced a rock-solid showing to help struggling Town thwart a high-flying Bees side in a 0-0 draw - and deliver the perfect defensive response to their previous home game, a poor 5-2 home reverse to Stoke City on New Year's Day.
Harry Toffolo and Emile Smith Rowe also provided encouragement in their maiden outings for Town, with fellow new signing Andy King coming on as a late substitute.
Cowley, who confirmed that further incoming signings are likely to depend on players going out first, said: "I thought Richard gave a brilliant, flawless performance.
"He has a wealth of experience and has played a million football matches. Certainly, we have got a young team and young players need help.
"It is up to us to help them and it helps if you have got some senior players who can sometimes hold their hand on the pitch, which some players need at different moments.
"I thought Richard did that, although Jon (Gorenc) Stankovic was unlucky after having a really good run in the team."
On his side's overall performance, he added: "I thought it was a hard-earned point against a very good Brentford team.
"A lot of our work off the ball was good and we pressed with an aggression and an energy and when we couldn't get the press on, we were in a compact, organised shape.
"We stopped probably the most free-flowing team in the league to no clear-cut chances. Considering we made three changes to the back four, it is a real positive.
"There were signs, particularly early in the second half, of some relationships building. We were able to find Emile Smith Rowe behind the midfield and we saw some really good combination play by him and some good chances from us.
"If we had maybe taken one in that period, we could have got more from the game.
"What we now need to do is build partnerships and relationships and it is not going to happen overnight."