Watching former Dallas Cowboys nose tackle, Josh Brent, allowed Cowboys fans to see potential. Playing behind a player who was once a powerhouse at nose tackle, Jay Ratliff, Brent started to scrounge up some tackles in his limited role. In his last season in a Cowboys uniform, Brent had 13 tackles, 9 assisted tackles, and a forced fumble. Playing a position where his first responsibility is to eat up blockers, in a rotational role, Brent showed promise to become an important piece in the Cowboys front seven.
Then it happened. In December of 2012, Brent, while driving intoxicated, crashed and killed his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown Jr. Brent was sentenced to 180 days in jail with 10 years probation for the accident.
Brent has taken several steps in order to be readmitted into the NFL. He recently stayed at a Dallas-area rehabilitation center for 45 days to show his commitment to getting help. Brent officially applied to be reinstated into the league Tuesday and will meet with commissioner, Roger Goodell, by the end of next week.
After the decision passes the desk of the commissioner, Cowboys owner and general manager, Jerry Jones, must pass judgement on Brent. Although Jones has been supportive of Brent throughout his legal process, Jones remains coy on Brent’s future with the Dallas Cowboys.
Jones remarked on Brent on Wednesday– “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. He’s got it to do, but talking with him, there is a lot of resolve there.”
Among the people to forgive Brent lies Jerry Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson. Jackson said about Brent, “”He’s still responsible, but you can’t go on in life holding a grudge. We all make mistakes.” However, today’s decisions on Brent are no longer legal or personal; today’s decisions on Brent must be solely football and business related.
Brent has paid his debt to society and is looking for his second chance. For the Cowboys, now with an ailing defensive end, DeMarcus Lawrence, Brent becomes ever more appealing to Jerry Jones in his quest for defensive line depth. Jones must decide if Brent’s promise that he showed early in his career is worth a roster spot and a potential locker room distraction. Brent will receive his second chance. Unfortunately for Brent, there’s no guarantee that his second chance will come on a football field with a star on his helmet.