Dallas Cowboys: Josh Brent

Josh Brent's playing future uncertain

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
2:52
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- The agent for former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, Peter Schaffer, said he will meet with his client in the next few weeks to discuss whether Brent wants re-start his football career after his 180-day jail sentence ends.

Brent
“There’s not been the proper time for those discussions,” Schaffer said. “All of that is premature. The most important thing for him is to make sure that he’s in a good place and Jerry (Brown’s) family is in a good place, and that he has a proper direction for the rest of his life to make sure he’s doing things he wants to do and to make sure this never happens to anybody else.”

Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter for his role in the accident that killed practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown, who was Brent’s best friend. In addition to the 180-day jail sentence, he received 10 years’ probation.

Brent retired from the NFL last summer. He would have to apply for reinstatement, and could be subject to more discipline from the league’s personal conduct policy.

Schaffer said Brent wants to begin a program to help people learn from the dangers of drinking and driving when he is out of jail.

“His focus is on his best friend and his best friend’s family, and trying to make sure that something like this never happens to anybody else,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer said Brent has appreciated the support of the Cowboys and the Jones family through the process.

“They’ve supported him emotionally and physically by giving him a job at their warehouse,” Schaffer said. “It’s very easy to take shots at the Cowboys because they’re so public in what they do, but the things they do privately that nobody sees, I don’t think they get credit for that.”

Cowboys Twitter mailbag, Part 1

January, 31, 2014
Jan 31
12:00
PM ET
IRVING, Texas – The Friday version of the Twitter mailbag is available.

In it we discuss the draft, the possible return of Josh Brent and the DeMarcus Ware's future. Thanks for the questions, and remember if you want to get involved in the mailbag, follow me on Twitter (@toddarcher) and end your question with #cowboysmail.

Away we go.

.

Brent must show he's changed to play again

January, 24, 2014
Jan 24
4:19
PM ET
DALLAS -- Josh Brent stood in front of a judge and listened patiently and silently about his fate. He wasn’t in front of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell or a room of his football peers.

There were no NFL coaches or scouts determining Brent’s future on Friday. There were 10 women and two men making a decision in a Dallas courtroom.

[+] EnlargeJosh Brent
LM Otero/AP PhotoOnce former Cowboys DT Josh Brent completes his jail sentence, there is a possibility he could return to playing football again.
Brent was given a 10-year suspended sentence for being convicted of intoxication manslaughter for his role in the drunken driving accident that killed his best friend and teammate, Jerry Brown.

Brent was placed on probation for 10 years and must pay a $10,000 fine. He will serve a mandatory 180 days in jail in compliance with Texas law on suspended sentences.

Once he’s served his time, the court won’t be in the way of him resuming his NFL career if he so chooses. That fate would be in the hands of Goodell.

"I don’t know [whether he wants to play again]," Brent’s mother, Sherri, said as she left the courthouse Friday.

Brent should have the opportunity to play again if he wants to, but the 6-foot-2, 320-pound former defensive tackle should use his jail time to take a long and hard look at his life before asking for a second chance to play the game he grew up with.

Brent was drunk and driving fast on that December 2012 early morning, an irresponsible combination with a tragic result.

This is the second time Brent was involved in a drinking-and-driving incident. While in college at Illinois, he was given probation for a DWI offense.

You would have thought the first time would have gotten the message through.

It didn’t with Brent.

Maybe the death of his best friend, which leaves a family shaken and a baby girl without a father, will open his eyes to what he’s done.

The NFL needs to make sure that message sticks this time. Counseling and other stipulations must be part of the equation if Brent is to play in the league again.

"He’s still sad and still grieving about Jerry Brown," Brent’s co-counsel, Kevin Brooks, said.

"Josh was pretty somber, not jumping for joy," added his other attorney, George Milner, on the sentencing. "Not sure how to take everything. You can’t understand the guilt that he is living with. I said this on Dec. 8 -- there's not going to be a winner in this case."

And because of that, Brent must clean up his act before he ever winds up near an NFL team again.
"

I said this on Dec. 8, there's not going to be a winner in this case.

" -- George Milner, one of Josh Brent's attorneys

That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve a second chance. The first assistant to the Dallas County District Attorney, Heath Harris, said Brent has a right to play in the NFL.

But he shouldn’t play until he has shown he can handle the responsibility and demonstrate he understands the consequences of what he’s done. Six months in jail alone isn’t going to do that. Paying a fine isn’t doing it, either.

Brent knows he can never have another drink again. He knows he can’t hang out in bars, clubs or at people’s houses where drinking is going to be prevalent.

No more birthday parties for teammates at clubs. No more hanging out late with his drinking buddies. Recovering alcoholics don’t go to bars. Recovering drug addicts don’t contact their suppliers. Recovering gamblers don’t check the point spreads.

That life is behind them. If Brent wants another chance to play in the NFL, his old life must be behind him.

This case with Brent isn’t about the 34 people in Dallas County who received probation after being charged with intoxication manslaughter.

It’s not about him being a former player for the Dallas Cowboys. The franchise didn’t place a drink in Brent’s hands or tell him to get wasted two days before a road game in December.

Based on court testimony, Brent had roughly 17 drinks two days before a game. That’s responsible? That’s the type of guy you want on your team?

Not a chance.

A return to the NFL won’t be easy. Any team, even the Cowboys, will wonder if this has changed his life.

"Anyone that supported my child, I appreciate it to the fullest," Brent’s mother said.

The bigger question is, will Brent appreciate the second chance 12 jurors handed him?

If he clearly does, then somebody will open the door for him. If there is any doubt, if he’s not locked up, he’ll surely be locked out.
MOBILE, Ala. -- A Dallas County jury is deciding Tuesday whether former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman, Josh Brent is guilty of drunk driving, which resulted in the death of best friend and former practice squad player Jerry Brown, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The jury began deliberations around 11 a.m. CT, and asked the judge a question about evidence during the process.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the team continues to support Brent. During the trial, current players Barry Church and Danny McCray testified and Sean Lee arrived to court on Tuesday to support Brent, according to the Dallas Morning News.

"Our support for Josh has been unwavering since the start of this thing and that simply continues," Garrett said from the Senior Bowl on Tuesday. "Obviously a very tragic situation for Jerry Brown and his family and for Josh Brent. This is a process you go through and we're supportive of him and were just hopeful the outcome is something that’s certainly justified and allows him to continue on with his life. It's a very tragic situation and that hasn't changed."

Garrett said he's followed the case, "from a distance."

In December 2012, Brent left a party and crashed his car as he was driving home with Brown as the passenger. Brown died on the scene. Brent had a blood alcohol level of 0.10, two times the legal limit of 0.08.

DeMarcus Ware: Best fix for D is health

November, 13, 2013
11/13/13
1:00
PM ET
IRVING, Texas -- By their 10th game last season, the Dallas Cowboys had already lost key defensive contributors for a combined 33 games.

Safety Barry Church went on injured reserve on Sept. 25 with a torn Achilles. Sean Lee went on injured reserve on Oct. 24 with a toe injury. Defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman went on injured reserve on Nov. 14 with a triceps injury. Six other players had missed at least one game, including Sean Lissemore with six games and Jay Ratliff with four.

Ware
Through 10 games this season, the Cowboys have lost key defensive contributors for a combined 21 games. Ratliff, Tyrone Crawford, Ben Bass and Matt Johnson are not included on the list because they were never on the 53-man roster this season, but those injuries are noteworthy nonetheless because of the roles they were expected to play.

Anthony Spencer leads the way with nine missed games with his season over because of knee surgery. DeMarcus Ware and J.J. Wilcox have missed three games. Four other players have missed at least one game so far.

What gives the Cowboys hope this year is that the currently hurt players will get healthy.

“I mean when you have, what, five guys or six of the starters out, the best way to fix it is to get the guys back,” Ware said. “Sometimes we have guys in there that sort of don’t know what they’re doing because it’s probably the first time they’ve been playing in a long time. When you have a team that doesn’t make mistakes and sort of expose you that with those guys that are in the game, that’s what [New Orleans] did. You’ve got to get the guys back that know what’s going on and during the bye week use that to make a big push.”

Morris Claiborne and Ware did not practice on Wednesday but they expect to play against the New York Giants on Nov. 24. Jason Hatcher was on the field Wednesday and also expects to play. Wilcox also hopes to play against the Giants.

The return of Claiborne will help the secondary even if he was not without faults before getting hurt.

“We still have guys that can fill in but obviously the experience that I have that B.W. [Webb] and [Micah] Pellerin don’t, that goes a long way.”

Linebackers Lee and Justin Durant will miss at least two games with hamstring injuries but will be back.

Last year the Cowboys did not have the luxury of players returning. Ratliff did not play a game after Nov. 18. Bruce Carter went on injured reserve on Nov. 26 with an elbow injury. Orlando Scandrick went on injured reserve on Dec. 8 with a wrist injury. Josh Brent was put on the non-football injury list on Dec. 12 after the accident that cost the life of teammate Jerry Brown.

Maybe it’s foolish to think the Cowboys won’t suffer more injuries on the defensive side of the ball in the final six games, but the one hope is at least some people will return.

“We’ve just got to get healthy, man,” Hatcher said.

Cowboys' DL moves since May

November, 6, 2013
11/06/13
11:50
AM ET
IRVING, Texas -- Since May 16, the Dallas Cowboys have signed, traded, acquired, put on injured reserve or released 28 defensive linemen. They saw another, Josh Brent, retire on July 18.

Everett Dawkins and Hall Davis are the latest additions. Dawkins was signed off the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad to the active roster, and Davis filled the final practice-squad vacancy.

There has been an incredible amount of movement on the Cowboys' defensive line. If you remember the Travis Chappelear era consider yourself fortunate.

Check out these transactions by date involving only the defensive line:

May 16 – Signed Anthony Hargrove
June 5 – Waived/injured Robert Callaway
June 11 – Signed Jeris Pendleton
June 20 – Cut Hargrove
June 25 – Signed Jerome Long
July 18 – Josh Brent retired
July 26 – Signed George Selvie and Landon Cohen
July 31 – Cut Ike Igbinosun, signed Toby Jackson
Aug. 1 – Waived/injured Cameron Sheffield
Aug. 6 – Waived Monte Taylor, signed Jabari Fletcher
Aug. 12 – Signed Travis Chappelear
Aug. 13 – Claimed Thaddeus Gibson
Aug. 19 – Waived Chappelear, Jackson
Aug. 21 – Signed Jason Vega
Aug. 26 - Cut Pendleton
Aug. 27 – Placed Tyrone Crawford on injured reserve, Jay Ratliff on reserve/PUP
Aug. 31 – Cut Fletcher, Gibson, Long, Vega; acquired Edgar Jones from Kansas City
Sept. 1 – Traded Sean Lissemore to San Diego
Sept. 2 – Signed Vega to practice squad
Sept. 3 – Acquired Caesar Rayford from Indianapolis
Sept. 5 – Chappelear waived off injured reserve
Sept. 7 – Placed Ben Bass on injured reserve; re-signed Long
Sept. 17 – Cut Cohen, signed David Carter
Sept. 24 – Cut Long, signed Drake Nevis
Sept. 25 – Placed Anthony Spencer on injured reserve
Oct. 15 – Cut Carter, Signed Jarius Wynn
Oct. 16 – Released Ratliff off reserve/PUP
Oct. 18 – Signed Vega off practice squad; placed Jones on IR to return list
Oct. 21 – Signed Marvin Austin
Oct. 29 – Released Vega; signed Everette Brown
Oct. 31 – Signed Vega to practice squad
Nov. 5 – Cut Austin
Nov. 6 – Signed Everett Dawkins off Minnesota practice squad; signed Hall Davis to practice squad
Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff’s trial to face charges of driving while intoxicated, which was scheduled for Thursday morning in the Tarrant County Criminal Court, has been postponed until Feb. 20, according to his attorney.

Tom Pappas, Ratliff’s attorney, said his client has no intention to reach a plea deal in the case.

Ratliff was arrested in Grapevine in the early-morning hours of Jan. 22 after he crashed his 2011 Ford pickup truck into an 18-wheeler. After a search warrant for his blood was issued more than two hours later, tests determined that Ratliff’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, according to Grapevine police.

Ratliff’s arrest occurred six weeks after then-backup Josh Brent’s crash, which killed teammate Jerry Brown Jr. Brent, whose blood-alcohol level was also tested at more than twice the legal limit, is facing an intoxication manslaughter charge and has since retired from the NFL.

Ratliff, who was limited to six games last season due to injuries, remains on the physically unable to perform list while continuing to recover from his 2012 sports-hernia surgery and a strained hamstring during the Cowboys’ pre-training camp conditioning test. The Cowboys are optimistic that Ratliff will be able to play in the Sept. 8 season opener against the New York Giants.

Josh Brent visits Cowboys training camp

August, 13, 2013
8/13/13
2:37
PM ET
OXNARD, Calif. – Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, who retired to deal with an intoxication manslaughter charge, visited his former teammates at the team’s training camp complex last weekend.

“It felt good to see a smile on his face,” safety Barry Church said. “We know we’re his safe haven and it feels good to see him.”

Defensive end DeMarcus Ware has said the team doesn’t condone what Brent is being charged with, but there’s a need to support him because he’s a member of the family.

Brent was involved in a car wreck last December in which his best friend, practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown, was killed. Brent’s blood alcohol level was 0.18, more than twice the legal limit in Texas.

Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, asked the Cowboys to support Brent, something team owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he would do.

Brent, 23, faced discipline from the NFL for his actions, but retired just days before the Cowboys left for training camp.

If Brent returns to the NFL, the Cowboys still maintain his rights, and he would be subject to discipline from the league.

Brent has a Sept. 23 court date.
We took two weeks of vacation to regroup, and, with that, we've got some random thoughts before the Cowboys head to training camp.

PODCAST
ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss Sean Lee, Gavin Escobar, Dez Bryant and more as Cowboys training camp nears.

Listen Listen
1. There are no major decisions looming for the Cowboys before leaving Dallas for Oxnard, Calif. That's a positive thing. The only real decision revolves around defensive tackle Josh Brent, and it seems the NFL will make a decision on his case. Jay Ratliff has a court case in August, but it's doubtful the team and the NFL will discipline him severely. He won't get suspended, and, at worse, he'll get fined. So, all the major decisions for the Cowboys come on the field. The other safety spot could go to Will Allen, and the starting center might be Travis Frederick, but if Phil Costa wins the gig, that's not a bad thing. The No. 3 receiver is either Dwayne Harris or Terrance Williams. The Cowboys, unlike the New England Patriots, go into training camp with little or no distractions.

2. Defensive end Anthony Spencer enters the 2013 season a man in charge of his financial freedom. He'll play under the franchise tag of $10.6 million, but he wants a long-term contract with the Cowboys. He won't receive one, so instead he'll play this season out and become an unrestricted free agent in 2014. Spencer is coming off a career season, during which he compiled 11 sacks and was the main focus of the defense in the last two weeks of the season with DeMarcus Ware nicked up with shoulder and elbow injuries. If Spencer is to command a hefty salary in free agency next year, how he performs in the new 4-3 scheme at end will dictate plenty. Spencer also has the flexibility of going back to outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme in 2014, which increases his marketability among teams. A good season helps Spencer. An average season merits a short-term deal.

3. Some fans expressed dismay at the release of fullback Lawrence Vickers last week. If the Cowboys really wanted a fullback on the roster, they would not only have cut Vickers, which they did, but signed Vonta Leach, the best fullback on the free-agent market, which they didn't. The Cowboys will go with four tight ends, and the signing of veteran Dante Rosario meant the end of Vickers. Rosario will play special teams, and that made Vickers expendable. Sure, Vickers would have played special teams, too, but new special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia trusts Rosario more.

4. If you want to say Dez Bryant had the most impressive offseason for the Cowboys, that would be accurate. But backup running back Lance Dunbar was impressive as well during offseason workouts. Dunbar is a speedy back who could be used in third-down situations. Dunbar needs improvement on pass blocking, size could be an issue, yet, he's someone worth watching in training camp. We're not saying he should become a starter if DeMarco Murray gets hurt again, but Dunbar should see more playing time than he did last season.

5. The Cowboys offense had a delay of game penalty during offseason practices with Bill Callahan calling the play and Wade Wilson standing next to him on the field. What's going to happen with Callahan in the press box and Wilson on the field during games? The Cowboys made the switch to take some duties away from head coach Jason Garrett. For this move to work, the Cowboys need to work the mechanics of this smoothly. Having five preseason games will help in this process, but I question having Callahan in the press box relaying the play call to Wilson, who will be on the field. If things get haywire, moving Callahan to the sidelines could solve any problems.

Cowboys pass on supplemental draft

July, 11, 2013
7/11/13
10:28
AM ET
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys did not select any of the six players eligible for today's NFL’s supplemental draft.

PODCAST
Herm Edwards joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to talk Dallas Cowboys and discuss all the storylines surrounding the team heading into the 2013 season.

Listen Listen
UCF defensive end Toby Jackson, Houston wide receiver DeWayne Peace, Purdue wide receiver O.J. Ross, South Alabama cornerback Damond Smith and two UNLV defensive linemen -- James Boyd and Nate Holloway -- were available to be selected, but no team made a pick.

Last year the Cowboys used a fourth-round pick for wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was selected in the second round by Cleveland. In 2010, the Cowboys selected defensive tackle Josh Brent in the seventh round.

It is possible the Cowboys could look at one or two of the prospects as free agents. To sign one, the Cowboys would have to release a player to remain at the 90-man limit.

Why the Cowboys support Josh Brent

June, 28, 2013
6/28/13
10:00
AM ET
It would be easy for the Dallas Cowboys to release Josh Brent.

He's failed two drug tests while on bail for an intoxication manslaughter charge resulting in the death of his best friend and practice squad player Jerry Brown. Brent, in my opinion, should be released.

PODCAST
Galloway and Company discuss Josh Brent's second failed drug test and how the Cowboys should handle the situation.

Listen Listen
The Cowboys won't do it, at least for now.

It's not a financial reason because Brent's base salary is $630,000 and he counts $641,889 against the salary cap, so you're not saving a lot of money here by letting him go.

One of the big reasons Brent remains on the roster is he knows he's going to jail for a period of time. It's not a matter of if he goes to jail, it's when. How long is uncertain.

Those close to Brent say he's living with tremendous guilt over the death of his best friend. Last December at the memorial service for Brown in Dallas, numerous teammates hugged Brent and welcomed his presence. Brent attended the first half of the Cowboys' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, though he left after his presence irked some fans and members of the media.

"At the same time, you know he's probably beating himself up inside," defensive end Jason Hatcher said last year of Brent. "But just being around the game he loves and to come in there and put a smile on our face as well as him, that was an unbelievable feeling. From now on, I don't know what will happen as far as him coming to a game. But the support of him is going to be amazing from us."

Brent is described as a well-liked player who would talk all day with reporters and teammates about who the best point guard in the NBA is, debate the best teams in Big 10 basketball (he attended Illinois) and at times would sit at his locker and just relax.

"Support is support," fullback Lawrence Vickers said after the car accident last December. "Josh understands the things that are going on, we understand the things that are going on, but one thing -- our house is going to stay good and strong. We're going to stick with our values and the morals that we have, and that's being there for each other."

Brent would hang out with his fellow defensive linemen, a close-knit group led by nose tackle Jay Ratliff and Hatcher. The players don't care what the media or the fans think about keeping Brent around on the roster because at some point he won't be here come September.

Some players have been in Brent's shoes before, although maybe not to the same extent, so there's a compassion there. Nearly two months after Brent's car crash, Ratliff was arrested for a DWI.

"With me, I just think about making the right decisions," DeMarcus Ware said on Sirius/XM radio after Ratliff's arrest in January. "Sometimes you just got to get people around you that you can trust. If you’re staying out late, get a driver, get a taxi. That’s been the main thing in general with drinking and driving. In Texas, they do not play. They do not play at all with that. Just being careful with that. You got families and you have a lot of things at stake, and you have to be careful."

People outside the Cowboys believe cutting Brent is the right thing to do. But for the Cowboys, keeping him around to support him, to help him get through his mess is the right thing to do, too.

Brent story won't get better for Cowboys

June, 27, 2013
6/27/13
4:34
PM ET
Of course they should. The Dallas Cowboys would have been fully justified in cutting ties with nose tackle Josh Brent in December, after his arrest on intoxication manslaughter charges for the car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown. They surely could have released him this offseason. And now that he finds himself in jail with his bond revoked for a second failed drug test, there's really no good reason for him to be taking up a spot on the team's 90-man roster. Brent isn't coming back to the Cowboys this year, or likely ever, and the chances of his NFL career ever resuming with any team are incredibly slim.

PODCAST
Galloway and Company discuss Josh Brent's second failed drug test and how the Cowboys should handle the situation.

Listen Listen
The reason the Cowboys have stuck with Brent this long is compassion. They care about him. And Brown's mother, with whom Brent is very close, has asked the Cowboys to continue to support him. He's obviously crushed by the death of his friend and his own alleged role in it, and she's worried about what he'll do if he's cut loose from the structure and support system his continued status as a member of the Cowboys offers him.

You can shout all you want about not feeling bad for Brent, and I completely hear you. The crime of which he's accused is a despicable, selfish, stupid and inexcusable one. He should be punished severely for it and very likely will. But that doesn't make the story of a 25-year-old who threw away his bright NFL future any less sad. The failed drug tests don't either. This young man appears to have no control over his own life, and that's a shame. If you don't want to feel bad for him, you're justified in that. But on the flip side, the Cowboys are justified if they care about him and want to do whatever they can to help him. That's their right, and there's really nothing wrong with a little human compassion -- even in the big, cold business that is the NFL.

[+] EnlargeJosh Brent
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsCowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent is back in jail after failing a second drug test.
At this point, though, no one's going to be able to accuse the Cowboys of a failure of compassion if they decide it's time to move on. This story isn't going to get any better, and to this point keeping Brent on the roster hasn't helped him steer clear of further trouble. He obviously needs some sort of help, but it's hard to imagine a ceremonial spot on an NFL team's roster is a part of that help. Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett and Brent's teammates can surely continue to remain a part of his life to whatever extent they feel is necessary. But continuing to keep themselves connected to Brent in the professional realm is a mistake, and the organization needs to get itself out of the business of being connected with this guy and his case. In truth, they probably could use the roster spot as well.

Don't compare this to the Patriots, who cut Aaron Hernandez while he was on his way to the courtroom in handcuffs Wednesday morning. The crimes of which Brent and Hernandez are accused are not comparable, and if the accounts we've heard of what happened in both cases are accurate, Brent and Hernandez don't belong anywhere near each other in terms of character comparisons. The Patriots' decision to drop Hernandez was cold-blooded but likely correct and easy. The Cowboys' decision to cling to Brent has been a compassionate one and hasn't cost them very much. It's just that it's reached the point at which they need to move on.

Cowboys have to let Josh Brent go

June, 27, 2013
6/27/13
3:32
PM ET


IRVING, Texas -- A second failed marijuana test has landed Josh Brent back in jail, six months after a car driven by the Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle cost the life of teammate and friend Jerry Brown.

PODCAST
Galloway and Company discuss Josh Brent's second failed drug test and how the Cowboys should handle the situation.

Listen Listen
Immediately following Wednesday's arrest of Aaron Hernandez came a lot of hand-wringing about New England’s decisive action to release him, and the Cowboys’ decision to hold on to Brent and let the legal process play out.

Two lives have been lost, but that’s where the similarities end. According to the assistant district attorney, Hernandez allegedly orchestrated the execution of Odin Lloyd. The result of Brent’s actions came about because of stupidity, negligence and hubris.

After releasing Hernandez, the Patriots issued a statement expressing sympathy to the Lloyd family, ending it with: “At this time, we believe this transaction is simply the right thing to do.”

And that’s how the Cowboys should feel now regarding Brent.

PODCAST
ESPN NFL analyst Ed Werder joins the show to talk about the Aaron Hernandez arrest and arraignment and the Patriots' decision to let Hernandez go.

Listen Listen
They tried to do the right thing. They supported him at the request of Brown’s mother. Brent went to the facility to receive treatment for his injuries, and when the offseason began, he was allowed to work out.

The Cowboys kept Brent as close to the team as possible, even though he never took the field in an offseason practice. They have waited for the legal system to do its job. They have waited for the NFL to penalize Brent under its personal conduct policy.

And now Brent has repaid the team’s patience by failing a second drug test. How can the Cowboys ever trust him again?

On the field, Brent has shown he can be a productive player. A great player? No. Solid? Sure. And that’s part of the reason why they kept him around, while in 2003, they cut Dwayne Goodrich about five weeks after his car accident, in which two men were killed.

They knew Goodrich could not play, so it was almost easier to get rid of him, especially with Bill Parcells on board as coach.

Brent one day may play again in the NFL, but he should never wear a Cowboys uniform again.

A large sign outside the Valley Ranch locker room reads: It is a privilege -- not a right -- to play and coach for the Dallas Cowboys.

Some of you may believe Brent lost that privilege the night Brown died, but there can be no doubt that he has lost that privilege now.

It’s time for the Cowboys to part ways with Brent.

It’s simply the right thing to do.
It took the New England Patriots roughly six minutes to release Aaron Hernandez after the tight end’s arrest stemming from a homicide investigation.

PODCAST
ESPN NFL analyst Ed Werder joins the show to talk about the Aaron Hernandez arrest and arraignment and the Patriots' decision to let Hernandez go.

Listen Listen
Josh Brent is still on the Cowboys’ roster more than six months after the nose tackle’s arrest for intoxication manslaughter.

It’s natural for folks to compare the way the Patriots and Cowboys dealt with the arrested players, but this is far from an apples vs. apples case.

The dead man’s mother in New England isn’t publicly pleading with Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick to do everything in their power to help Hernandez. Stacey Jackson, the mother of deceased Cowboys practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown, made it as clear as possible how important it was to her that the Cowboys not abandon her son’s best friend after Brent’s deadly, grievous judgment error.

There is also the matter of the charges and intent of the alleged crimes.

The police in Massachusetts have yet to make the charge against Hernandez public – and the Patriots could have more information than the media – but we know that he was arrested after a homicide investigation. At the very least, he is accused of destroying evidence to cover up the crime. At the worst, he was directly involved in a premeditated murder.

There is no excuse for Brent driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit, especially since he had a previous drunk-driving conviction in college, but it was not his intent to kill Brown that night in December. The guilt was devastating.

The point isn’t to argue that the Patriots or Cowboys are right or wrong. (My opinion is that the Cowboys should have cut ties with Brent by now, considering that prosecutors allege that he has tested positive for alcohol and marijuana while out on bail.)

It just isn’t fair to compare the way the Cowboys have handled Brent to the way the Patriots dismissed Hernandez. The cases are too different to judge the same way, whether you’re a judge, jury member or general manager.
The Dallas Cowboys have two players on their 90-man training camp roster with upcoming court dates.

PODCAST
ESPN NFL analyst Ed Werder joins the show to talk about the Aaron Hernandez arrest and arraignment and the Patriots' decision to let Hernandez go.

Listen Listen
Defensive tackle Josh Brent has a bail revocation hearing scheduled for July 19, the day the Cowboys leave for training camp in Oxnard, Calif., because the Dallas County district attorney's office wants a judge to place him in jail because of a failed drug test.

Brent is out on bail after being charged with intoxication manslaughter resulting in the death of practice squad player and best friend Jerry Brown. Court records show Brent's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

The trial for the intoxication manslaughter is scheduled for Sept. 23. Brent's attorneys have had preliminary discussions about a plea deal.

Jay Ratliff has a court date on Aug. 22 at Tarrant County criminal court in Fort Worth on a DWI charge. Ratliff was arrested on Jan. 22 when his pick-up truck collided with an 18-wheeler in Grapevine, Texas.

A subsequent blood test revealed Ratliff's blood test was more than twice the legal limit.

Ratliff's scheduled court case comes just days after the Cowboys preseason game Aug. 17 at Arizona.

It hasn't been determined officially if Brent will be allowed to travel with the team to training camp. It's assumed Brent will not be there because of the legal issues he faces, but he still counts against the Cowboys 90-man roster. Brent hasn't participated in any of the offseason workouts.

Ratliff has participated in the offseason workouts and will travel with the team to training camp.

Ratliff and Brent are subject to the NFL conduct policy and could face a fine or suspension.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider