ARLINGTON, Texas – Moments after he addressed a crowd at Thursday's Cowboys coaching clinic, team owner/general manager Jerry Jones addressed an issue that has followed his team throughout the offseason.
Jones spoke to the media regarding the retirement of defensive tackle Josh Brent, who announced his decision to end his career Thursday afternoon, while both Jones and Garrett were speaking at the coaching clinic in Cowboys Stadium.
"In my mind it speaks for itself – he's basically wanting to concentrate where he should be concentrating in his life. This allows him to do that," Jones said. "From the standpoint of technical – relative to club, NFL – it does all the things that give him an opportunity to get his life straightened out."
Brent's decision to retire ends a rampant stretch of speculation about his future with the Cowboys, as he prepares to face a charge of intoxication manslaughter from the Dec. 8 accident that killed his friend and teammate Jerry Brown.
That debate was only exacerbated this summer when Brent allegedly tested positive for marijuana twice.
"Josh, as he said in his statement, really just believes that he needs to get his life in order," added Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "Football's very important to a lot of us, it's important to Josh, but there are other things that are more important, and that's what he needs to do right now for himself. I think it's a good decision. He's got to take it one day at a time and get himself going and get his life back together."
While the issue of Brent's future has been a hot topic around the franchise for several months, Jones said it never influenced his decision-making or his desire to help Brent. As he has in the past, Jones reiterated his pledge to Brown's mother, who asked Jones to do whatever he could to help Brent.
"From a standpoint of where our thoughts were, we wanted to be very supportive – he's a part of our football family," Jones said. "You often hear that alluded to, but that's the way it is, and you try to help a family member any way you can. Again, I want to emphasize that I promised Jerry's mother that we would be there (for Brent), and she wants that and wanted that."
Brent earned a spot as a situational player on the Cowboys' defensive line after making the team as a rookie in 2010. He played in 39 games during his three seasons, and he earned five starts at defensive tackle in 2012, in place of an injured Jay Ratliff.
Brent's decision to retire, rather than be waived at some point, is important because it allows the Cowboys to retain his rights if the three-year veteran is ever able to return to the field. Both Garrett and Jones declined to focus on that possibility, however, citing the long road ahead of him. [embedded_ad]
"I wouldn't wannt to speculate on that," Jones said. "He's certainly got the ability to play, but let's focus where it's got to be, and that is him getting his life in order off the field. Certainly, that's what this does."