- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has not talked to reinstated-but-suspended defensive tackle Josh Brent, but the team has been aware of what he has been doing since being released from a drug and alcohol treatment center in July.
“The reports that we’ve gotten regarding Josh have been that he’s working very hard and trying to get back,” Garrett said. “… When you have something -- an opportunity like playing pro football -- oftentimes getting a guy back in that environment is what’s best for him, whatever that field of endeavor is. If you’ve gone through some very difficult, tragic situations in your life you want to get as much normalcy back in your life as possible. I know how important it is for Josh to get back playing football and by all accounts he’s working very hard to do that.”
Brent was suspended for the first 10 games for his involvement in a 2012 car accident that cost the life of teammate and friend Jerry Brown. If he follows the league protocol, then he will have missed 30 games over the last three seasons. He missed the final four games of the 2012 season and retired before training camp in 2013.
Since his release, Brent has been working out at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney as he looks to re-start his career. Brent can begin attending meetings in Week 7 and practicing in Week 9. The first game Brent would be eligible to play would be Nov. 23 at the New York Giants.
Per league rules, the Cowboys cannot have contact with Brent during the suspension.
The Cowboys have supported Brent since the accident in part as a deference to Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, and in part because they believe it is the right thing to do.
“We understand the situation,” Garrett said. “And really you just put yourself in his shoes, how difficult a situation this is. We feel like, like any member of your family, it’s important for us to support him, help him in any way we can first and foremost as a person. Any interaction we have of him individually, teammates, coaches, from where I sit, where this organization sits as a whole, it’s important that he understands that we’re there for him. He’s gone through a very difficult situation and gone through a very difficult process following that situation. It’s our job to support him and help him in any way we can.”