Dallas Cowboys: Josh Brent

Jones: 'Brent deserves an opportunity'

July, 23, 2014
Jul 23
8:45
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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
Jul 16
3:30
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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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Does Josh Brent deserve another chance to play in the NFL?

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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
2:52
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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
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
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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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