DALLAS - The Dallas Cowboys announced Thursday afternoon that Josh Brent will retire from football.

"Over the last few weeks, there has been plenty of debate on whether the Cowboys would remove Josh Brent from the roster or the NFL would perhaps suspend the defensive tackle," read a statement from the Dallas Cowboys. "On Thursday, Brent removed himself."

The Cowboys said he'll be placed on the reserved/retired list.

In late December, Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter in the death of his teammate and friend Jerry Brown Jr.

"I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order," Brent said in the statement. "Those priorities are more important than football."

When asked about Brent's retirement Thursday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the move was something the player needed to do as he faces trial.

"I think in my mind it speaks for itself," he said. "He basically wants to concentrate on what he needs to concentrate on and this allows him to do that."

Jones said he wouldn't speculate on whether Brent would return to the NFL.

"He certainly has the ability to play," he said.

He also addressed whether Brent's retirement would ease the Cowboys movement forward.

"I don;t quite think about it that way," he said. "From the very beginning, we did everything we could to show that we think a lot of him, and we do as a team and Cowboys family. This was a tragedy; we didn't want to do anything in any way that would inpact opinions relative to how it's adjudicated, so it can be sorted out off the football field"

The former defensive tackle was released from the Dallas County Jail earlier this month after he was booked in late June. Prosecutors said he tested positive for marijuana and failed two drug tests, including one in May and June. Upon his release, a judge ordered Brent to wear a drug-detecting patch and was forbidden to drive.A hearing on the failed tests is scheduled for Friday.

Brent was signed as a rookie with the Cowboys in 2010 and played 39 games.

Friday, the Cowboys will head to Oxnard, Calif. to start training camp. Brent's trial date is scheduled for Sept. 23.

WFAA's George Riba contributed to this report

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