Dallas Cowboys: Josh Brent

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys are under the spotlight again for issues on and off the field. On the field, the team is 3-1 heading into a Sunday afternoon clash against the Houston Texans (3-1).

Witten
Off the field, Grapevine, Texas, police confirmed that special teams player C.J. Spillman is being investigated in connection with an alleged sexual assault at the Gaylord Hotel. Also, defensive tackle Josh Brent, convicted in January of intoxication manslaughter for the December 2012 crash that killed Cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown, was welcomed back to the team after he completed his sentencing.

Recently, coach Jason Garrett spoke to the team about conduct, especially when it comes to domestic violence. Tight end and player representative Jason Witten is mindful of the high standards the league and its fans want from players.

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"I think in general you’re always hesitant to comment because you don’t know enough about any of those situations," Witten said. "Specific to the domestic violence cases, there’s no place for that in our game. And I think you’ve seen that with what the players’ association have done, and obviously the expectations are high. But at the same time, they represent those players and those players have got to learn from that and be accountable so it never happens again."

Witten was asked whether these incidents, particularly Spillman's, tarnish the reputation of the franchise, which has endured numerous off-the-field issues like several other NFL teams.

"I think they're two separate situations," Witten said. "Josh, he did serve his time and I was a teammate of his when all that went down, and it was a tragedy and to see Josh go through that and the process of coming back is great to see and we support him from that standpoint. I think with C.J. we just don't know enough. He's my teammate. I just found out about it earlier in the day. But as I said before, the expectations and standards for us is high, and it needs to be high. We'll see how that plays out and we respect him and he's been a great asset for our team and his interaction with us. He's a true pro."
IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett recently addressed his players about the team’s stance on domestic violence and similar issues.

Garrett
Garrett
Garrett made it clear that any player involved in such an incident won’t be allowed to play until the situation has been resolved.

When defensive tackle Josh Brent was involved in a car accident in December 2012 and subsequently charged with intoxication manslaughter since the wreck resulted in practice squad player Jerry Brown’s death, the Cowboys deactivated Brent for the final four games of the season.

Brent, who spent nearly five months in jail and 45 days in a rehabilitation facility, rejoined the team this week after the NFL reduced his suspension.

“Part of what our jobs are as coaches is to create the right environment for our players to function both on and off the field,” Garrett said, “so we need to be clear about where we are and we need to be clear that we have a structure in place to help anybody who has any off-the-field issue.

“We have a lot of resources here to help guys, if you’re dealing with anything off the field. That was the first message. Having said that, there are standards we have about all off-the-field behavior and certainly domestic violence applies to that. We’re very clear about how we’re going to handle things.”

Cowboys monitoring Josh Brent's work

September, 3, 2014
Sep 3
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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.

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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.”

Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag, Part 2

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
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IRVING, Texas -- Part 2 of the Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready. In it we discuss:
  • Jerry Jones, the general manager
  • Wondering about Michael Sam
  • Predicting the record
  • Josh Brent's production
If you want to see Part 1, click here. Away we go: @toddarcher: I guess I've missed how he's been given a pass on this matter. But this is where Jerry can't win. If he professed Super Bowl expectations, then he would be ridiculed for overselling a team that clearly needs a lot of help. Jones has been more realistic (mostly) about this team, although saying this defense is much improved seems to be a stretch after what was witnessed in the preseason. The failings of this team's personnel are squarely on Jones. He's the general manager. He's responsible for this. But that doesn't mean he will be changing the general manager anytime soon or ever. Jason Garrett or others will have to pay for the sins of how Jones has constructed the team.

@toddarcher: I don't think Michael Sam would fit on this defense even with the need for pass-rushing help. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli wants speed. That's the No. 1 trait. Sam is not a speed player. He plays faster than he is timed and he had an excellent college career, but the Cowboys were dubious about his pro chances entering the draft and nothing really changed their opinion in the preseason. At the time of this writing, Sam is still with the Rams, so it's a moot point. But the Cowboys' decision (should it come up) would have nothing to do with Sam's sexual preference and everything to do with the position he plays. He's a left defensive end and the Cowboys have enough of those.

@toddarcher: Can I get a do-over? I've predicted an 8-8 finish, which is always something of a copout, but at the time I made the prediction I though this team would be able to overcome enough of the defensive shortcomings to win half of their games for the fourth straight season. Now I'm not so sure. Let me use a baseball analogy: The Cowboys have a bunch of fourth and fifth pitchers in first- and second-pitcher roles. You like some of these guys as role players, but the Cowboys need them to play way above their heads and need almost all of them to do so. If I had to do it over again, I'd probably say 6-10.

@toddarcher: It's hard to imagine he would be anything but a bit player, a backup. He hasn't played since 2012. He hasn't been in a team's conditioning program in two years. He was a solid player in a 3-4 scheme, but hardly a star. He was functional. If he can do that again, then the Cowboys would be happy. But I don't think he would appreciably change the Cowboys' defense. If/when he is reinstated, he will face a suspension, so he would need even more time to get on the field. Once he is ready to play, then maybe he takes the spot of a Ken Bishop, but the rookie seventh-round pick has done nice things this summer to see what he can become.  
MIAMI -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he expects a decision soon on whether former defensive tackle Josh Brent will be suspended by the NFL for his role in a car accident that resulted in practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown being killed in December 2012.

"We expect to hear something imminently," Jones said after Saturday's 25-20 loss to Miami.

Brent retired before last season. He was convicted of intoxication manslaughter and spent nearly five months in jail before spending the last 45 days of his sentence at a drug and alcohol rehab center.

Jones has said the Cowboys will have a roster spot for Brent if commissioner Roger Goodell lets him play. He met with the commissioner earlier this month.
OXNARD, Calif. -- Three thoughts on Day 13 of Dallas Cowboys' training camp:

1) Before you get yourself all worked up over the possibility of Josh Brent rejoining the Cowboys, understand their desperation level.

This defense gave up 415.3 yards and 27 points a game last season, and there’s no guarantee it will be better. And that’s with a quality defensive staff headed by Rod Marinelli.

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Would you like to see Josh Brent return to the Cowboys?

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Adding Brent to the roster would really be no different than adding Rolando McClain. They’re taking a chance on a player they might otherwise pass on because the defense needs a talent infusion.

Study the players on the Cowboys’ defensive line, and making the decision to add Brent to the mix isn’t that difficult.

Plus, there’s no guarantee he makes the team. He hasn’t played in more than a year and he wasn’t working out much, if at all, while he was in jail.

Actually, the most interesting aspect of Brent’s potential return is whether Roger Goodell suspends him or counts the year he sat out in retirement as a suspension year.

With all of the criticism Goodell received for the two-game suspension of Baltimore running back Ray Rice, it’s hard to tell whether that will make him issue a tougher penalty than he ordinarily would in the Brent case.

McClain
2) Rolando McClain has some minor hamstring and quadriceps issues, but it’s clear the Cowboys want him on the field.

They say the minor injuries are the result of McClain not participating in the offseason workout program combined with the hard work he has put in since he arrived.

The combination has put his body under some stress. Still, the club is beyond pleased with his work right now.

Don’t be shocked if the starting linebackers against San Francisco are Kyle Wilber, McClain and Justin Durant.

Bruce Carter has work to do.

3) The screen pass looks like it’s going to be a bigger part of the Cowboys’ offense than it has been, which would make sense.

Play-caller Scott Linehan used them frequently with running back Reggie Bush last season, All of the lineman except Ron Leary would be considered quality blockers in space, and DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar have good hands.

Screen plays don’t work without the coaching staff committed to the practice time it takes to get good at executing them.

Key number: 37

The Cowboys problem last season wasn’t moving the ball. They had just 37 three-and-outs in 183 possessions.

Only six teams had a higher percentage and five made the playoffs. Now, the Cowboys need to score touchdowns instead of kick field goals.

Do so, and they might be able to protect their defense and win some games.

Player to Watch: Devin Street


The fifth-round pick from Pittsburgh is a smooth receiver who has the size the Cowboys these days at 6-3 and 200 pounds, but his task right now is to get stronger.

He’ll have to get bigger, so he can be physical enough to get off the line of scrimmage against press coverage and to create separation with all of the hand-fighting that goes on between receivers and defensive backs.

He scored a couple of touchdowns in the Cowboys Blue & White scrimmage, but if he wants playing time this season he’ll have to do it on special teams unless there’s an injury.

The Cowboys like their group at receiver, so they don’t need to rush Street into the lineup. They can develop him slowly and let receivers coach Derek Dooley help him improve.
OXNARD, Calif. - Three thoughts on Day 8 of Dallas Cowboys’ training camp:

There should be no doubt that Josh Brent is returning to the Cowboys. Every time owner Jerry Jones is asks, he talks around it, but refuses to deny it.

[+] EnlargeJosh Brent
LM Otero/AP PhotoIn January, former Cowboys DT Josh Brent was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation for a drunken car crash that killed his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown.
The more important questions are whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will suspend him. Brent spent six months in jail after being convicted of intoxicated vehicular manslaughter, which resulted in the death of practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown.

Brent has not played since November 2012. He retired before the start of last season to focus on the trial and his personal life.

In theory, Goodell could consider his time away from the game as a suspension and reinstate him immediately.

Then the question would be whether Brent could make this team after being away from the game for more than a year.

He’s paid his debt to society. Other players, such as Leonard Little and Donta Stallworth, committed similar crimes and returned.

It would be interesting to see what Goodell does, as he was roundly criticized for his two-game suspension of Baltimore running back Ray Rice, who knocked his then-fiancee out in a hotel elevator.

Sometimes you need to take what’s behind Door No. 1, which is what Tyron Smith did.

Smith signed an eight-year extension worth $98 million that includes a $10 million signing bonus. There’s no doubt it’s a team-friendly deal, but it gives Smith $40 million in the first four years of the deal.

Guaranteed money is the most important aspect of an NFL contract. Smith probably could have gotten more, but everyone doesn’t place the same value on money.

Some dudes want security more, especially in a game like professional football, where the injury rate is so high.

And guess what? In five years, when the deal has been surpassed, he can go back and ask the club to re-do the deal -- who will be shocked if he does -- just like teams ask players to re-do deals when their performance no lingers coincides with their pay.

Morris Claiborne has a strained tendon in his knee, which he twisted during Wednesday’s practice.

He participated in the walk-through but won’t practice Thursday afternoon. Claiborne said he worked hard in the walk-through on staying attentive and engaged, something he hasn’t always done.

The most important thing is to keep Claiborne on the field, where he can continue to learn and get confidence for the season. If he misses much time, it will be a significant blow for a player who needs a good training camp in the worst way.

Key number: 35.0

The Cowboys finished 25th in the NFL in third-down conversions at 35 percent (63 of 180) in 2013.

They must do better this season to protect their defense and generate more points on offense. The poor third-down percentage is among the reasons Dan Bailey kicked 28 field goals and scored 131 points.

The Cowboys need drives to end with touchdowns because their defense is so suspect. They can’t allow teams to stay within one possession because they’ve been kicking field goals instead of scoring touchdowns.

Tony Romo’s third-down efficiency should be helped by Cole Beasley and Jason Witten on third downs and by a better offensive line, which should given him more time to throw.

Player to Watch: RB Ryan Williams

The 38th player taken in the 2011 draft has just 58 career carries thanks to knee and shoulder injuries, which ruined two of his first three seasons.

He’s competing for a job with the Cowboys, but he’s going to have to beat out Joseph Randle, a fifth-round pick last season, to get it.

Right now, Randle probably has a slight edge in the competition, but it’s not going to be decided until the preseason games start. The better special-teams player -- not the better runner -- will make the team.

Williams has never played much on special teams because of his injuries and his role. Neither had Randle until last season, which is why he has an edge over Williams.

This competition probably won’t be decided until the final game.

Jones: 'Brent deserves an opportunity'

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
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OXNARD, Calif. -- Jerry Jones thinks Josh Brent, the former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle who recently completed a jail sentence stemming from the drunken-driving death of a teammate, deserves a chance to resume his football career.

The Cowboys will consider giving Brent that opportunity.

"We have stood with Josh Brent from the very beginning and continue to," said Jones, who gave Brent a job operating a forklift in the team's apparel warehouse last year. "Josh Brent deserves an opportunity. He has made a terrible mistake. He knows it. I know firsthand he has contrition. I know that. And so, yes, I will consider giving him an opportunity."

Brent spent five months in jail for the December 2012 wreck that killed Cowboys practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown, the defensive tackle's former Illinois teammate and close friend. A judge ordered Brent, who also served jail time in college due to a drunken-driving arrest, to complete a stint of at least in a substance abuse rehabilitation facility as part of his 10-year probation sentence. Brent remains in the rehabilitation facility as the Cowboys open training camp.

Brent, 26, announced his retirement at the beginning of last year's training camp. He can apply for reinstatement through the NFL office if he chooses.

If Brent decides to return to football, commissioner Roger Goodell would have to decide whether to discipline him under the league's personal conduct policy. Goodell could also determine that Brent's retirement essentially served as a one-year suspension.

According to a source close to Brent, a decision has not been made on his future and will be based only on what the health care providers is best for him.

From a pure football standpoint, the 6-foot-3, 320-pound Brent could help a Dallas team that needs as much depth and talent on the defensive line as it can get. He might be the best run-stopping defensive tackle on the roster if the Cowboys re-signed him.

But does a man who has served two jail stints have the kind of character the Cowboys want?

"I think we go to ask the other side of the question," Jones said. "Do you get a chance to start over? Do we believe in paying your dues and getting a chance to start over? That's the other side of that.

"Principally in this country, we believe in giving an opportunity to pay your dues and pay your penalty and move forward. I don't know the detail of where he is or on what basis we even have to consider him rejoining the team, but it will be certainly be something I consider."

What to do with Cowboys' roster spot?

July, 16, 2014
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IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys' decision to part ways with backup quarterback Kyle Orton has opened up a spot on the 90-man roster for training camp.

Orton
Josh Brent's name has come up as a possible fill-in, but sources say there is nothing new on that front. Brent remains at a treatment facility after he was released from county jail for his involvement in a 2012 car accident that killed his friend and teammate Jerry Brown.

The Cowboys have not ruled out the possibility of re-signing Brent if he wants to re-start his NFL career, but they have more pressing needs to fill with training camp starting next week.

At this point in the summer, finding players is difficult. With teams carrying 90 players, there are only so many available. The pool is not filled with stars. It’s filled mostly with guys you hope can get you through a few days of practice, limit the amount of snaps you give your regulars and perhaps develop into contributors.

Tight end remains a position of need. The Cowboys have Jason Witten, Gavin Escobar, James Hanna and Jordan Najvar. They need more of a blocker in the group, not only on the 90-man roster but perhaps the 53-man roster.

The Cowboys like to carry a high number of receivers and corners because of the amount of running they do in training camp. They have 10 receivers and eight cornerbacks under contract. Again, the idea isn’t to sign a name veteran to make the masses happy at this point. It’s about practice (said in best Allen Iverson voice).

The Cowboys could also gain a spot if Amobi Okoye is not fully cleared for drills. He spent most of the offseason with the team, working out, but he did not take the field as he attempts a return from a personal medical issue. Including Okoye, the Cowboys have 16 defensive linemen on the roster.

Source: Leary won't face suspension

June, 27, 2014
Jun 27
10:25
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Dallas Cowboys starting left guard Ronald Leary will not be suspended by the NFL regarding a two-year old DWI charge, according to a source.

Kluwe
Leary
According to court documents, Leary was arrested in Irving, Texas, on Sept. 7, 2012, two days after the Cowboys' season opener at the New York Giants.

There has been numerous court dates postponed since the original arrest. Leary, who was a rookie practice squad player at the time of the arrest, didn't get promoted to the active roster until that December.

When an NFL player is charged with a DWI offense, he's placed into the league's substance abuse program. Once that player completes the program, the league considers the legal matter over based on the facts of any particular case.

Adisa Bakari, Leary's agent, and Cowboys' officials declined comment.

The Cowboys had three players arrested for DWI charges within a five-month period two years ago.

Following Leary's arrest, defensive lineman Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter in Irving, Texas, on Dec. 8, which resulted in the death of practice-squad teammate Jerry Brown.

On Jan. 22, 2013, defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff was charged with DWI in Grapevine, Texas, after hitting a tractor trailer.
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.

Josh Brent's playing future uncertain

February, 21, 2014
Feb 21
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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
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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
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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.

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