Second Chances

Dallas Cowboys activate Josh Brent less than a year after manslaughter conviction

Cowboys activate Brent less than a year after manslaughter conviction

Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent
The Dallas Cowboys are bringing Josh Brent back on the active roster. sportsgrid.com
Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent sacks Carolina Panther Cam Newton
Defensive tackle Josh Brent is now 26.  Dallas Cowboys/Facebook
Josh Brent mugshot
Josh Brent was arrested multiple times in Dallas County for issues related to the 2012 death of Jerry Brown. Photo courtesy of Dallas County Sheriff's Office
Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent
Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent sacks Carolina Panther Cam Newton
Josh Brent mugshot

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett announced Tuesday that Josh Brent will be added to the 53-man active roster. Brent was convicted of vehicular manslaughter in January for his role in the death of Jerry Brown, a member of the Cowboys practice squad.

Many expressed outrage when a Dallas County jury showed leniency to Brent, who received 10 years probation and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. He had faced up to 20 years in prison. On top of probation, Judge Robert Burns tacked on 180 days in jail, which was the maximum he was allowed to assess.

Brown's family and the Cowboys have been resolutely in Brent's corner since the accident. At the urging of Brown's mother, Brent had remained on the Cowboys roster after the crash, even appearing on the sidelines during a game.

Widespread criticism of Brent's high profile led to his retiring from the NFL in July 2013 while he was awaiting trial. Even then, Brent attracted negative attention for breaking the terms of his bond release, including testing positive for marijuana use.

When Brent was reinstated into the league in September, NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell suspended him for 10 games. This week marked the Cowboys' first opportunity to activate the 26-year-old defensive tackle. Brent could play as early as November 23, when Dallas takes on the New York Giants.