Brent Suspended 10 Weeks By NFL, Plans To Appeal

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IRVING, Texas – Josh Brent has been conditionally reinstated by the league and is eligible to play again for the Cowboys after 10 weeks.

The NFL ruled the Cowboys' defensive tackle, who had retired with the team, will be suspended without pay until at least Week 11. But it appears that decision will be appealed.

Brent's agent, Peter Schaffer, said on 105.3 FM "The Fan" he didn't agree with the entire scope of the conditional reinstatement. He said he was hoping for a fairer ruling that recognized precedent and what Brent had done since the drunk driving accident, which resulted in the death of Brent's friend and teammate, Jerry Brown.

Brent hasn't played since the accident in 2012. It's been 21 months since Brent last stepped onto the football field.

"We want a fair resolution in a universal sense," Schaffer said. "If we can get that, we'll be happy to move forward."

The Cowboys don't have a game in Week 11, when Brent is first eligible to return, which means the earliest he can play is Nov. 23 against the Giants.

Owner/general manager Jerry Jones said at training camp Brent would be welcomed back by the team and would have a roster spot waiting for him if he got cleared to play. That was before any talk of a 10-game suspension, however. 

Brent can't visit the facility or participate in team activities the first six weeks of the season. He could return to team meetings and do individual workouts and conditioning in Week 7. He can practice by Week 9 if he complies with the conditions of reinstatement.

Any further law infractions or prohibited alcohol-related conduct will likely result in an immediate suspension and possible NFL banishment for Brent. He also must comply with court orders regarding probation, testing and monitoring. 

Brent has five days after the decision to appeal, and it appears that's what Schaffer and Brent will do.

"We're not asking for a gift," Schaffer said. "We're just asking for fairness and for Josh to be able to move on with his career."

Jones thought he'd hear about the suspension earlier, but the news came during the first week of the season. It sounded Tuesday morning like Jones had an idea what the punishment would be. 

"I have an indication, but I'm not at liberty to talk about when," Jones said on 105.3 FM 'The Fan.' "I've certainly had an indication that he'll be reinstated. But the commissioner, on matters of league punishments, moves at his own rate."

The specifics of the suspension were divulged early Tuesday evening.

Jones and the Cowboys have stood by Brent since the incident, through jail time and rehab. Jones and head coach Jason Garrett have said repeatedly they want to make sure Brent's life off the field is in place before he worried about football.

"The reports that we've gotten regarding Josh are that he's working very hard and trying to get back," Garrett said. "We talk about supporting a person in his life – oftentimes, when you have an opportunity like playing pro football, oftentimes getting a guy back into that environment is what's best for him, whatever that field of endeavor is. When you've gone through some difficult and tragic situations in your life, you want to get as much normalcy back as possible."

Schaffer said Brent knows he needs to earn back the trust of everyone who believed in him.

"Trust is not a gift – it's earned," Schaffer said. "If people will give him a chance to show what he does every day, then hopefully he can earn that trust."

Brent, now 26 years old, spent three seasons with the club from 2010-2012. All 1.5 sacks came in his final year with the club. Many expected Brent to thrive in the switch to the 4-3 defense.  

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