Cowboys' Josh Brent returns to field

CHICAGO -- Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent played Thursday night in his first game since his involvement in a car accident that led to the death of teammate and friend Jerry Brown two years ago.

"It felt good," Brent said. "It felt normal, felt like where I belong."

Brent returned in the Cowboys' 41-28 win over the Chicago Bears, and had a tackle and an assisted tackle.

"I really didn't know what to expect," Brent said. "I tried not to get too anxious or emotional. I tried to stay as even keeled as possible. I think I did a pretty good job of that.

"It was somewhat surreal. Thinking about everything I've gone through, it's crazy to think that I'm right back where I've started, and like I've mentioned before, I'm very blessed to be in this position and I don't take that for granted at all."

Brent was inactive for the first two games in which he was eligible to play. He saw more time in practice this week with the regulars, and the Cowboys were hoping he could help a run defense that allowed 256 yards in a Thanksgiving loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The last game Brent played was Dec. 2, 2012, against the Eagles. Less than a week later, Brent lost control of his vehicle on State Route 114 in Irving, Texas, and Brown was killed. In January, Brent was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter, and sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years' probation.

In addition, Beamers Nightclub has filed suit in Texas against Brent asking that he be held responsible for damages against the club in a separate lawsuit filed by Brown's father, Jerry Brown Sr.

The NFL reinstated Brent in September but suspended him for the first 10 games. He has been able to practice since Week 9 and was cleared to play Nov. 23 against the New York Giants.

The Cowboys selected Brent in the seventh round of the 2010 supplemental draft. Before Thursday, he had played in 39 games in three seasons with five starts (all in 2012), and was credited with 65 tackles, 1.5 sacks, five quarterback pressures, one pass breakup and one forced fumble.