GRAPEVINE, Texas – The Cowboys spent a large portion of the offseason addressing their depleted defensive line, but it's given them no cause to forget about Josh Brent, according to team executive vice president Stephen Jones.
Speaking Tuesday at the Cowboys' annual sponsors' golf tournament, Jones said he wouldn't rule out the possibility of bringing back Brent, who is currently serving a 180-day jail sentence for intoxication manslaughter.
"We'll certainly look at that. The league will have a big say in when he can come back," Jones said. "We'll certainly evaluate that situation when it comes. I certainly wouldn't rule it out."
That situation could arrive relatively soon. On Jan. 24, 2014, Brent was given the jail sentence, in addition to 10 years of probation, for his December 2012 drunk driving accident that resulted in the death of teammate Jerry Brown. That timeline sets him up to be released in late July, which is when the Cowboys report for training camp.
If he violates his probation, Brent's short stint in jail could become a 10-year prison sentence.
"Obviously Josh has paid a price. That's just a tragic, tragic accident," Jones said. "Right now he's doing what he needs to be doing. And we'll evaluate things as they move forward."
Of course, there's also the issue of if Brent wants to return to football. He announced his retirement from the NFL on July 18, 2013, in order to focus on the trial that resulted in his intoxication manslaughter sentence. If he does return, he could face additional discipline from the league for misconduct.
Jones said the Cowboys have inquired about the potential for further discipline.
"We've asked. It's a work in progress," he said. "Obviously they're looking at it and kind of see how it goes. Obviously he sat out a year."
He added: "The bigger thing is Josh has got to see where his priorities are. A lot of things got to be determined there."
Brent played in 39 games for the Cowboys from 2010-12, making 44 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. The Cowboys signed five free agent defensive linemen – Henry Melton, Jeremy Mincey, Terrell McClain, Anthony Spencer and Amobi Okoye – and drafted defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence No. 34 overall during the offseason.