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Josh Brent Released From Jail, Football Future Still Unclear


IRVING, Texas – Former Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was released from jail Sunday – roughly a month earlier than initially expected.

Brent, who played for Dallas from 2010 until 2012, was convicted of intoxication manslaughter this past January for the drunk-driving accident that killed his friend and Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown. He faced up to 20 years in prison for the incident, which saw him crash his car with Brown in the passenger seat in December 2012. Tests taken at the time showed Brent's blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

Instead, Brent received a 180-day jail sentence and 10 years of probation. After getting released, several reports indicate that Brent may serve the last month of that sentence in an in-patient treatment facility.

Brown's mother, Stacey Jackson, earned notoriety following the accident for her public forgiveness of Brent and for her request that the Cowboys support him. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones has offered his support for the former player, most recently when Brent retired just before the team's training camp in July 2013, and several Cowboys players attended Brent's trial.

With Brent now released from jail, there will undoubtedly be questions about whether he could return to the playing field – a proposition Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones recently said was a murky one.

Brent has faced the legal ramifications of the accident, but he could still see disciplinary action from the NFL if he seeks to be reinstated. [embedded_ad]

"We'll certainly look at that. The league will have a big say in when he can come back," Jones said June 3 at the Cowboys' annual sponsors' golf tournament. "We'll certainly evaluate that situation when it comes. I certainly wouldn't rule it out."

There's also the matter of whether Brent wants to or is able to play. He hasn't played a down in the NFL since the crash, which happened on Dec. 8, 2012 – roughly 18 months ago. Brent said in a statement last summer that his retirement from football was largely about getting his priorities in order off the field.

"The bigger thing is Josh has got to see where his priorities are. A lot of things got to be determined there," Jones said.

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