Cowboys DT Josh Brent, facing manslaughter charge, retires

Josh Brent's trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 23. (USATSI)
Josh Brent's trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 23. (USATSI)

Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent has decided to retire from football so he can focus on his off-field priorities, he announced through the team Thursday.

Brent has been charged with intoxication manslaughter after a car crash that killed his teammate Jerry Brown in December. Though Brown's mother publicly has forgiven Brent and said she didn't want him prosecuted, the former defensive tackle still has plenty of legal problems.

"This is the right decision for me, and something that I have given a lot of thought to," Brent said in a statement. "I am at a point where my main focus is about getting priorities in my life in order. Those priorities are more important than football. Doing the right things in life are more important than football. I love the game very much. I love my teammates, but this is the right thing for me to do."

After his accident, Brent showed up on the Cowboys sideline during a late-season game, leading to a huge backlash. He stayed away after that, but he remained on the Dallas roster.

On June 19, he violated his bond by allegedly failing a drug test and was sent back to jail. He was released from jail earlier this month as he awaits trial on the intoxication manslaughter charge.

Brent is also due in court Friday. His trial for the manslaughter charge is scheduled to begin Sept. 23.

"Addictions are very hard to overcome, and we see this on a daily basis," Dallas County district attorney Craig Watkins said recently. "And so this is par for the course. Obviously, Josh Brent has an issue with alcohol, and you just can't one day decide that you're going to stop using it. So I think he's struggling with that. So I'm not surprised with the outcome of what's going on with this case; I just hope that at the end of it, justice will be served for Mr. Brent and the citizens of Dallas County."

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