Josh Brent could return to the Dallas Cowboys if he applies and is granted reinstatement by the NFL.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made it clear that he would consider bringing Brent back into the organization even though Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, 10 years probation and mandatory rehab for a December 2012 car wreck that killed former teammate Jerry Brown Jr.
“I do believe in paying your debt,” Jones said. “Paying your debt, paying the price to the extent that he does that.
“We have stood with Josh Brent from the very beginning and continue [to do so]. Josh Brent deserves an opportunity. He has made a terrible mistake. He knows it. I know firsthand he has contrition. I know that. And so yes, I will consider giving him an opportunity.”
Brent, who is listed on the Cowboys’ retirement list and didn’t play last season, will finish his rehab next week. After that, a source said, he will begin the process for reinstatement and could face a suspension before being cleared to return.
Jones doesn’t believe the Cowboys would be sending the wrong message or condoning drinking and driving if they brought Brent back. He pointed to Tank Johnson and Adam “Pacman” Jones as players who had off-field struggles during their playing days but are now sharing their stories with NFL rookies to avoid running into similar problems.
“Do you get a chance to start over?” Jones said. “Do we believe in paying your dues and getting a chance to start over? That’s the other side of that. Principally in this country, we believe in giving an opportunity to pay your dues and pay your penalty and move forward.”