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OXNARD, California The quote took a little more than one second at the end of the nearly 50-minute Cowboys 'state of the team' news conference on Wednesday.

'We'll consider that,' said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

And with that, he opened the door to a controversial decision the possible return of former Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent.

'Josh Brent deserves an opportunity,' Jones told media members after the news conference. 'He's made a terrible mistake, knows it.'

Brent's mistake: Driving dunk in December of 2012. It ended in a crash that killed teammate and best friend Jerry Brown.

After his conviction on intoxication manslaughter charges, Brent was released last month from jail, and allowed to finish the final 45 days of his 180-day sentence by doing a rehab stint. Sources tell News 8 Sports that Brent will be released from rehab on July 31.

'To the extent that he pays his price to society; to the extent that he can become eligible to be a player in the NFL; then I'm all for him coming in,' Jones said.

The move will certainly bring with it a publicity backlash. And while Jones says he's not even sure about the details surrounding bringing Brent back, his willingness to consider it means he is willing to deal with any negative reaction.

'Principally in this country, we believe in giving an opportunity to pay your dues and pay your penalties and move forward,' the team's owner said.

Brent retired last July, so he'll have to apply for reinstatement to the NFL. Once that happens, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will have to decide if there is punishment from the league moving forward.

'The NFL is a great forum to basically build back a reputation,' Jones said.

And while I'm told Brent won't focus on football until his sentence is complete, it certainly sounds as though it won't be long now.

E-mail jtrahan@wfaa.com

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