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Is A Return To Football Imminent For Josh Brent?

One of the questions surrounding Josh Brent's possible return to the team has been some doubt about his interest in playing football again. Could we be seeing the answer soon?

Tom Pennington

From the reports that have surfaced regarding members of the Dallas Cowboys who have had contact with retired defensive lineman Josh Brent since his conviction for Intoxication Manslaughter, there has been no mention of Brent making his return to football. Indeed, according to former teammate Barry Church the topic was something that they avoided discussing altogether.

"We just talked about life in general, I didn’t bring up the whole [crash]. I didn’t really ask him about football. He just wanted to know how I was doing. He’s in a good place right now and hopefully he can get better." - Barry Church

Since Church's visit, Brent has been released from the Dallas County Jail where he served a total of 135 days of the 180 day sentence imposed on him by the court. Like many other offenders, Josh was allowed the opportunity to "serve" the final portion of his sentence at an in-patient treatment facility. That release took place in mid-June, and Brent is now approaching his release date from the treatment center and, as a condition of his probation, he will be required to find suitable employment.

Could this signal a return to the Cowboys? Nothing is certain. One potential hurdle to be faced is the fact that Brent would potentially be subject to the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy. There are a couple arguments that can be made on his behalf. The first would be that Josh served a full year of "suspension" time during the 2013 season. Another would possibly be his attorney making an argument that Brent's conviction occurred during his retirement and as such it would be beyond the scope of the NFL's ability to issue sanctions.

The big question is "Would either strategy be successful?" Probably not totally, but if they can force the league into negotiating a short, say four game, suspension it would be a victory for Brent and the Cowboys. Josh obviously could use the job to re-establish himself as a free man, and Dallas could clearly use the help on the defensive front. Of course, this is all speculation until somebody somewhere announces that Josh Brent is ready to play football again.

That day could be on the near horizon. With the news that back up QB Kyle Orton's release has been made, Dallas does have that open roster slot, and Brent is going to be looking for work. Coincidence? Perhaps; perhaps not. The timing of Orton's release may be a little unusual, but it is convenient. It has been enough to fuel some speculation.

When a writer for makes a tweet like this, I take notice. The speculation does make sense for all parties involved. It remains to be seen if this is more than just idle discussion, but I suspect we will have that answer soon enough. What we do know for sure is that the team has never ruled out Brent's return, and neither did his defense team when asked. My personal opinion has not changed since shortly after Josh was arrested in 2012; I stated back then that Josh Brent would play football for the Dallas Cowboys in 2014.

Note: As always with this subject, you can state your personal opinion about Brent being reinstated to the NFL and playing for the Cowboys, but if you start attacking others because of their opinion, or just become a nuisance with repeated posting of the same things, you just might be shown the door. Respect each other is all we ask.

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