Cowboys to be supportive of Brent in return to football

IRVING, TX -- Even though Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent was reinstated by the NFL on Tuesday, he still isn't anywhere near the teams practice facility at Valley Ranch.

He won't be eligible to practice until he's fully reinstated by the NFL. That will come when he meets the criteria set forth by the courts. In the meantime, he'll be tested and monitored by the NFL and receive treatment and counseling.

The team will do everything they can to help him make the transition back to football.

"The Josh Brent thing is a very difficult situation for all of us," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "Obviously, that was a very tragic situation that we had to work our way through, no one more than Josh. We've been very supportive of Josh through the whole process."

Brent must first serve a 10-game suspension before he can return. His agent, Peter Schaffer, told KRLD-FM Wednesday that Brent will appeal the suspension.

"The penalty wasn't just the number, it was the entire scope of the penalty. We were hoping for something that was fair and recognized precedent," Schaffer said in the radio interview. "If it had come down we would have embraced it and moved forward in a positive fashion. That's what we were hoping for and that's what we're hoping the arbitrator in the appeal will do."

As it stands, though, Brent can return to the Cowboys practice facility starting in week seven and begin attending meetings and have individual workouts. By week nine, he can attend all team activities, but cannot travel with the team or play in a game.

"I know his teammates have been very supportive," Garrett said. "We want to make sure as an organization and as a coaching staff that everyone from the Dallas Cowboys supports him. It's a very, very difficult situation to deal with as anyone can imagine."

Assuming Brent complies and meets all the guidelines set by the NFL, Brent could be eligible to play following week ten. That would also include a bye week before the Cowboys play the Giants on November 23, the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

"The reports that we've gotten regarding Josh is that he's working very hard in trying to get back," Garrett said. "When we talk about supporting a person in his life, often times when you have an opportunity to play pro football, getting a guy back into that environment, is what's best for him. By all accounts, he's working very hard to get back."

Schaffer said Brent has a positive outlook, even with the longest 2014 NFL suspension ahead of him.

"Going through what he's gone through, I think his perspective on life, friends and family, and the blessing that the NFL is, he isn't upset," he said.



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