CHICAGO – Josh Brent will active for the first time since 2012 when the Cowboys kick off against the Bears on Thursday night.
It's the culmination of a long process since Brent's drunk driving accident roughly two years ago that killed teammate Jerry Brown and sent him to prison for six months.
Brent served a 10-game suspension upon his return to football – after a 180-day jail sentence for intoxication manslaughter and a month-long stint in rehab. He has been eligible to play since the Cowboys' Nov. 23 game against New York, but he has been inactive in all games since his suspension ended – until tonight.
Brent will take DeMarcus Lawrence's place on the active roster, as Lawrence was ruled out with the rib injury he suffered last week and subsequently tweaked during practice. The rookie was considered questionable coming into the game, but he was placed on the inactive list after a short workout before the game.
The Cowboys' other inactives are Dustin Vaughan, Tyler Patmon, Jeff Heath, Dekoda Watson, Tony Hills and Donald Hawkins.
Patmon, Heath and Watson were all ruled out on Wednesday, when the Cowboys' final injury report of the week was released. Patmon is still recovering from the knee and ankle injuries he suffered against Jacksonville on Nov. 9. Heath is still recovering from breaking his thumb against the Giants. He had surgery last week and said Monday that he hopes to be available for the Dec. 14 game against Philadelphia.
Watson is still recuperating from a hamstring injury he suffered against the Giants.
Brent won't start against the Bears, but it's expected he'll get some work at nose tackle, in an effort to help stop Chicago running back Matt Forte. In his last game, on Dec. 2, 2012, Brent registered two tackles in the Cowboys' 38-33 win against Philadelphia.