IRVING, Texas – For the first time since rejoining the Cowboys earlier this season, defensive tackle Josh Brent met with reporters, who swarmed his locker in the corner of the Valley Ranch locker room Wednesday.
The soft-spoken Brent talked about his anxiousness to resume his football career, but didn't avoid questions surrounding the Dec. 9 accident that not only killed his good friend and former Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown, but led to Brent's conviction of intoxicated manslaughter.
After serving a 180-day jail sentence that included the last month and a half at a rehabilitation facility, along with a 10-game suspension by the league, Brent is now officially activated on the 53-man roster and is eligible to play in the next game, Nov. 23 against the Giants.
However, coach Jason Garrett said on Tuesday that Brent is "too heavy" right now and sounded as if the defensive tackle needed to get in better shape before he was activated to play.
Brent said he wasn't sure when he would make his official return to the field, but said his focus isn't that far ahead.
"Truly, I don't know. I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and be the best teammate that I can," Brent said. "I'm just thankful the commissioner, the Jones Family and Cowboys organization have allowed me to come back and be a part of this team."
Brent has been with the Cowboys since Sept. 2 as the league allowed him to be around the organization despite the suspension. Not until three weeks ago was he allowed to start practicing.
"It's been tough, but it's been something I take one day at a time and one step a time," Brent said. "I don't get ahead of myself and look forward to the future."
When asked about playing to honor Brown, a humbled Brent showed heavy remorse in speaking of his fallen friend and teammate.
"Honestly, Jerry was a great person, a great player and had a great future," Brent said. "Again, the mistake that I made took that away from him. It took that away from his daughter and took that away from his mother. That's something that I make sure I'm conscious of. I'll never forget that."
Brent joined the Cowboys initially back in 2010 when he was a seventh-round pick in the NFL's Supplemental Draft out of Illinois. He made the team and played in all 16 games as a reserve lineman. In 2011, Brent played in just 11 games, but in 2012, he started five games and was a solid contributor for the 12 games he played before the tragic accident, which occurred before the team left for Cincinnati on Dec. 8.
And Brent might not be the only defensive tackle joining the roster. The club has a decision to make on Amobi Okoye, who has been on NFI (Non-Football Injury) since the start of the season. If Okoye is signed to the 53-man roster, the club would have to move a player off the roster as they did by cutting linebacker Tim Dobbins to make room for Brent.