We learned several days ago that the Cowboys would not rule out the possibility of defensive tackle Josh Brent‘s returning to the team upon his release from jail. Brent, of course, is currently serving a six-month sentence for intoxication manslaughter for his role in a drunken car crash that killed teammate and best friend, Jerry Brown. Brent is set to be released on July 23, and the Cowboys open training camp the next day.
David Moore of the Dallas Morning News lists the pros and cons of Brent’s would-be return. Moore notes that one common refrain among Cowboys fans is that Brent is simply not a good enough player to warrant the public relations nightmare and similar off-field concerns that his comeback would entail. Although Brent started just five games for the team in his three-year career, compiling just 1.5 sacks over that time and no more than 22 tackles in any one season, the fact remains that Dallas’ defense is in dire need of any kind of help.
The Cowboys ran a 3-4 defense when Brent last played for the club, but they now operate out of a 4-3 formation. As a 1-technique lineman in a 4-3 scheme, Brent would not be expected to generate a great deal of pressure on the quarterback, and it is difficult to say if he would provide any sort of upgrade over veterans Nick Hayden and Terrell McClain or rookies Ken Bishop and Davon Coleman.
Of course, Moore writes that neither desperation nor Brent’s talent level–such as it is–should factor into the Cowboys’ decision regarding Brent. He does add, however, that Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson, has continued to publicly support Brent and has expressed her hope that that team will do the same. Jackson’s support would be something of a crutch for the Cowboys in the court of public opinion if they wanted to bring Brent back into the fold.
In order to do that, there are a number of hurdles to clear. Before training camp began last summer, Brent sent a retirement letter to the league, so he would have to apply for reinstatement. Then there is the question of what punishment commissioner Roger Goodell would levy upon reinstatement. Putting those substantial issues aside for the time being, Moore writes, “The Cowboys appear willing to give Brent a chance to resume his career if that’s what he wants,” but nothing more than that.
So what say you, hivemind? Should the Cowboys bring back Josh Brent?