Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said he wouldn’t rule out bringing back former defensive tackle Josh Brent once he completes his jail sentence.
Brent is currently serving 180 days in jail as part of his conviction for a drunk-driving accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown in December 2012.
Brent was given 10 years probation in January, but the judge tacked on the jail sentence. He is scheduled to be released right before the Cowboys begin training camp July 22.
“We’ll certainly look at that,” Jones said Tuesday at the team’s annual golf tournament. “The league will have a big say in when he can come back. We’ll certainly evaluate that situation when it comes, but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.”
Brent announced his retirement last summer and would have to file papers with the league to return. He would also be subject to further punishment by the NFL under the league’s personal conduct policy.
Jones said the Cowboys have already had talks with the NFL regarding Brent’s status.
“Obviously, they’re looking at it, and we’ll kind of see how it goes,” Jones said. “Obviously, he sat out a year. The bigger thing is that Josh has to see where his priorities are. A lot of things have to be determined there.
“Obviously, Josh has paid a price. That’s a tragic, tragic accident. Right now, he’s doing what he needs to be doing. We’ll evaluate things as they move forward.”
The NFL has no-billed the Cowboys following an investigation into their organized team activities after last week’s season-ending knee injury to linebacker Sean Lee.
The NFL and the Players Association decided the Cowboys didn’t commit a practice violation during the non-contact workouts.
However, the league did offer some pointers to reinforce how the OTA workouts should be handled.
“They have evaluated a couple of our practice sessions and given us some pointers, but I don’t think we’ve done anything [wrong],” Stephen Jones said. “Jason [Garrett] has always done a good job of playing by the rules, and I think obviously they looked at that and say that we were.
“But at the same time, I think we all have to take notes and get better.”
Jones wouldn’t say what those pointers were, but it’s clear that the league doesn’t want players on the ground.
It’s in the collective bargaining agreement that there will be no contact in OTAs or minicamp. Players are not in pads for a reason and teams are subject to fines and lost practice days for any violations.
“More than anything, it’s just remembering that they are OTAs and there’s a standard that they recommend,” Jones said. “We’re all on the same page to keep these guys healthy.”
Jones officially acknowledged that Lee suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on the first day of OTA practices May 27. But video revealed that his leg buckled before he was engaged by guard Zack Martin on the play.
The Cowboys have slowed down the pace of practice this week after last week’s injury. But it remains an ongoing process because there is a fine line between competing hard and practicing without contact.
“We don’t want the contact,” Garrett said. “We try to motivate players who love to play, and sometimes you get an atmosphere where some guys are overzealous.
“We have to constantly go back and tell them what we want.”