Brent deserves a chance -- not with Dallas

June, 16, 2014
Jun 16
1:36
PM ET
Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was moved from jail to a treatment facility Sunday.

This is a positive step in Brent's recovery from his conviction on intoxication manslaughter charges following the car crash that resulted in the death of his best friend and teammate, Jerry Brown.

In January, Brent was sentenced to 180 days in jail and given 10 years' probation. He's scheduled to be released in late July. Cowboys officials have monitored Brent's recovery from afar and team executive Stephen Jones said the team is open to Brent returning to the field.

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The Cowboys have adopted this obligation to Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson, that they would support Brent because he needs football and wants to make amends for what he's done.

Brent is about to pay his debts from a legal standpoint to the state of Texas when he's released. Brent is determined to take care of Brown's toddler-aged daughter from a financial standpoint, and he sees football as the quickest way to do that.

All of that is understandable. In fact, it's admirable that the Cowboys don't seem concerned about possible public perception and believe they would be doing the right thing for everyone involved. They are standing by their man.

But looking at this from a football perspective, Brent is an average player who has five career starts. He was scheduled to start the Cincinnati Bengals game in 2012 because of an injury to Jeremiah Ratliff when he was involved in the car crash that killed his friend.

Brent showed a lack of judgment that night when he went out drinking 48 hours before a big game late in the season.

Life is about second chances and Brent deserves one. He should be given an opportunity to provide for Brown's daughter and for himself.

Brent is a good guy, but he made a terrible mistake.

But everybody needs a true fresh start here. Brent, the Brown family, the Cowboys. Let another team give him a chance to play along the defensive line and if Brent excels, great.

After Dallas beat the Bengals that afternoon in Cincinnati, the locker room was silent. There was no loud talking or slapping fives. In the postgame interview, coach Jason Garrett spoke to reporters in an emotional tone.

The emotion it took to win that game -- on top of losing Brown and Brent, who was in jail during the game, was a daunting task.

The Cowboys can't go back here and do it again.
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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