Josh Brent staying away from camp

Updated: April 16, 2013, 11:10 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

Josh Brent hasn't been banned from voluntary workouts with the Dallas Cowboys, but he's not attending them until his legal issues are cleared up.

Brent is on the reserve/non-football illness list after his arrest for intoxication manslaughter in the death of his friend and teammate Jerry Brown Jr. Brent was involved in the accident in the early morning hours of Dec. 8, the day before the Cowboys were to play at the Cincinnati Bengals. Brent faces a Sept. 23 trial date on the charge. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

"The league hasn't had any sanctions on him," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM in Dallas. "The more important thing for Josh right now is to focus on the issues at hand for himself, and obviously, he's got some legal issues he's going to be working through, not to mention all the personal issues that are involved with what he was involved with. That's what he's focused on right now."

The nose tackle was not present as voluntary workouts began Monday.

Jones said there are plenty of "moving parts" and the NFL "will have a big say" in Brent's long-term playing status. It seems the league is awaiting for Brent's legal issues to be finalized before rendering any judgment.

Brent is entering the final year of his contract and the Cowboys could release him to get some salary-cap space. But for now, the team is in a holding pattern.

"At the end of the day, that's the least [of] our worries," Jones said about Brent playing. "Josh, obviously, he's going through something that's very difficult. His focus right now -- which as it should be, more important than football -- is making sure his life is in order and he's going to have to focus on the challenges in front of him over the coming months [and] years."

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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