Ex-Illini Brent Out Of Rehab, Awaits NFL Future
OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks.
Jones said Wednesday from training camp that Brent, a former Illinois football player, was released from rehab this week.
The 26-year-old Brent was convicted in January of intoxication manslaughter for the December 2012 crash that killed Jerry Brown, a Cowboys practice squad player. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years’ probation. He left jail last month and entered a rehab facility in Dallas.
A spokeswoman for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office didn’t return a message, and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league had nothing new on Brent’s case.
Brent retired last year and will have to apply for reinstatement. He could face a suspension under the league’s personal conduct policy.
The release from rehab came about the same time the Cowboys lost rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence for at least two months with a broken right foot. Dallas is revamping its defensive line after releasing franchise sacks leader DeMarcus Ware in March.
Brent had been a backup but was starting at the time of the fatal crash in the Dallas suburb of Irving.
“He has played at a level before that would help us, yes, and obviously we’re trying to build this defensive line,” Jones said. “I know that one thing for sure, he is contrite and I know he feels one of the best ways to pay his debt to what he feels to the family is to do what he does the best and that is be a football player.”
Brent crashed his Mercedes sedan on the way back from a nightclub. Brown was in the passenger’s seat. Witnesses recalled seeing Brent trying to pull Brown from the wreckage of the vehicle.
Tests later showed Brent to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit for drivers in Texas.
Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, testified she had forgiven Brent. Brent and Brown were college teammates at the University of Illinois and roommates in Texas, where Brown was a practice squad linebacker for the Cowboys.
“He 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 for him under the circumstances to have made the mistake that he made to do some real good, help a lot of people and basically leave a better taste in people’s mouths about Josh Brent.”
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