OXNARD, Calif. – Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones once again addressed the future of Josh Brent on Wednesday, after reports surfaced that Brent had been released from rehab.
Brent was released from jail in mid-June after serving five months for the drunk driving accident that claimed the life of his friend and teammate Jerry Brown in December 2012. At his trial in January, Brent was sentenced to 180 days of jail time and 10 years of probation for intoxication manslaughter. Included in that probation was the 45 days of rehab, which Brent was released from Monday.
Upon his release, Brent is now free to petition the NFL for reinstatement, as he officially retired from the league last July before his trial began. The 26-year-old will have to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before he can be reinstated to the league, and Goodell could choose to penalize Brent under league rules.
Jones said the meeting with Goodell needs to take place before he feels comfortable speculating on Brent's future. Asked if he'd consider bringing Brent back to the Cowboys' roster, he said as much.
"I will look at that, but I don't want to get ahead of ourselves in any way, to look presumptuous relative to the commissioner or anybody else in the National Football League," Jones said. "I don't want to do that, because I don't know that he can be reinstated."
Brent is expected to meet with Goodell sometime in the next week or two, according to multiple reports. Jones has said before that be believes Brent has shown genuine contrition for his actions. [embedded_ad]
"I think that the pluses are that he's had an experience and been through something that will make or break his life, and there's a whole bunch of where he goes from here relative to what he's been through that can be a great example," Jones said. "There's no place like the NFL to rehab your credibility or show that you are contrite. It's a great opportunity, under the circumstances, to have made the mistake that he made, to do some really good, help a lot of people and basically leave a better taste in people's mouth about Josh Brent. "
Jones expressed on multiple occasions his reluctance to speculate on Brent's future before he meets with Goodell. That said, he added that Brent has shown his ability to contribute in the past – not to mention the Cowboys' need for depth on the defensive line.
"He has played at a level before in his career that would help us, yes. And obviously we're trying to build this defensive line," Jones said. "I know one thing for sure: he is contrite, and I know that he feels one of the best ways to pay his debt to the family is to do what he does the best, and that is be a football player."