OXNARD, Calif. — Defensive tackle Josh Brent will step closer to returning the NFL and returning to the Dallas Cowboys.According to owner Jerry Jones, Brent will meet NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday. Jones said the Cowboys will make a roster spot for Brent if he is cleared to play again.“We will, yes we will,” Jones said. “In other words, we wouldn’t have it today, but we will make a roster spot.”The 26-year-old Brent served a 180-day prison sentence earlier this year after being convicted of intoxication manslaughter in a December 2012 accident that took the life of Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown.He was released from jail June 15 to finish the remainder of his sentence in a substance abuse center. He completed the rehab portion of the sentence last week and immediately filed papers to resume his NFL career.Part of that process is for Brent, who filed his retirement papers last July, to meet with Goodell to see if there will be any additional punishment in adherence to the league’s personal conduct policy.Jones has maintained all along that he would welcome Brent back to the Cowboys if he was cleared to play again. The Cowboys have supported Brent throughout the process. They have done so with the blessing of Brown’s family.Jones said the prudent thing to do now is to just wait for Goodell to make a ruling.“The good judgment tells you, let this happen on the commissioner’s time,” Jones said. “Seriously, I don’t want to be presumptuous and there’s no pressure. He looks and should look at all discipline situations straight to the player and the situation and I know that for a fact. There have been a lot of people invested, both from the judicial system as well as what the NFL has to consider in Josh’s case, and there’s no place for input, in my mind, from the club asking to facilitate something that might be to the advantage of the club. This is about the behavior of the player, the players’ future, the NFL and our policies in the NFL.”Brent played three years with the Cowboys from 2010-2012. He has 41 career tackles and 1.5 sacks. He was seventh round pick in the 2010 supplemental draft out of Illinois.
Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr