IRVING, Texas – Over the last few weeks, there has been plenty of debate on whether the Cowboys would remove Josh Brent from the roster or the NFL would perhaps suspend the defensive tackle.
On Thursday, Brent removed himself.
Brent has decided to retire from football and will be placed on the Reserved/Retired list. If he ever decides to play football again, the Cowboys would still obtain his rights.
"This is the right decision for me, and something that I have given a lot of thought to," Brent said in a prepared statement. "I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order. Those priorities are more important than football. Doing the right things in life are more important than football. I love the game very much. I love my teammates, but this is the right thing for me to do."
Brent's decision comes a day before the Cowboys depart for training camp in Oxnard, Calif. This move actually gives Dallas four open roster spots. Expect most, if not all, of them to be filled before the team takes the field Sunday afternoon for the first practice. [embedded_ad]
Brent was never expected to be in attendance for camp, considering his Sept. 23 trial date. He is facing intoxication manslaughter charges, stemming from a Dec. 8 accident that killed teammate and good friend Jerry Brown, who was on the Cowboys' practice squad. Brent's blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the accident. And this was Brent's second alcohol-related incident, having served a 60-day jail sentence while playing college football at Illinois.
After the Dec. 8 accident, Brent was sent to jail but released on $100,000 bond. He later returned to jail last month after a drug test indicated marijuana in his system for the second time. He was released last Sunday on a court order.
Almost exactly three years ago, Brent first joined the Cowboys as a seventh-round pick in the NFL's Supplemental Draft. He made the team as a rookie in 2010 and spent the next three seasons with the Cowboys, starting five games last year in place of Jay Ratliff, who suffered injuries throughout the season.
But in his 39 career games, Brent was considered more of a rotational player, registering just 1.5 sacks. His strength against the run made him a regular on goal-line and short-yardage defensive situations.