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Cowboys' Josh Brent Is Not A Monster, He's Just A Moron

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Josh Brent's name has become inescapably synonymous with tragedy. Why are so many people interested in ascribing it something more, like a future in football? Photo By Ronald Martinez.
Josh Brent's name has become inescapably synonymous with tragedy. Why are so many people interested in ascribing it something more, like a future in football? Photo By Ronald Martinez.

Everybody’s got an opinion on why the Dallas Cowboys should release DT Josh Brent. For once, everybody’s right. The 25-year-old who allegedly failed multiple drug tests while awaiting trial for DUI and intoxication manslaughter charges stemming from a car accident that killed his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown, Jr., has no place on an NFL roster.

But for the sake of the team, Brown’s family and respect for the deceased, those thoughts need to be tabled.

According to The Dallas Morning News, Brent has a July 19th hearing to determine if he’ll be re-jailed for reportedly getting high while out on bond. His main trial is set to start September 23. Between now and one of those dates, the odds are good that the influence of the media moralizers and the savvy of the Cowboys’ PR staff will drive Brent’s name off the roster.

So for now, let’s stop waving our morality swords.

Let’s end the comparisons to former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez, who’s been charged with first-degree (premeditated) murder, and let’s quit using that circumstance to make an argument against Brent. Let’s stop questioning the Cowboys’ motives in retaining Brent’s roster spot or offering him support and counseling. And above all, let’s try to integrate some shred of human empathy into our opinions and judgments, like such.

Brent is a moron; he’s not a monster. He deserves to be out of an NFL job and a $630,000 salary. He doesn’t deserve to be emotionally and psychologically gutted in front of the American public.

Let’s be real: We’ve probably all had a night where we got behind the wheel when a cab would’ve been a better choice, legally speaking. But to be speeding and straddling two lanes while sporting a blood-alcohol content of .18 and not wearing a seat belt? That’s indefensible. Add to that his previous DUI arrest and the subsequent flouting of his bond via failed drug tests, and you have a collection of undeniably idiotic and immature behavior.

From the Cowboys perspective, you also have a textbook bad role model on your team, a distraction in your locker room and a publicity disaster gathering strength en route to implosion.

His guilt won’t ebb with time, nor will it lessen in its acuity. It’s the heaviest kind of cross a man can bear, justified or not. Combine that with the realization that he’s thrown away a promising pro football career, and you get a level of guilt and emotional stress that could sink the Titanic.

His comeuppance is imminent. Whether it takes the form of incarceration, a de-glamorized profession or years of therapy, Brent’s life is headed down the toilet for the foreseeable future.

For the Cowboys, the steady backing of Brent is starting to look less like altruism and more like PR suicide. It’s been commendable — motivated by about 80 percent humanity and 20 percent hope that Brent can one day contribute to a thin position — and that’s genuine enough for the NFL. However, the forces and powers that be in American pro sports will ultimately force Brent out. The wheel of pressure is grinding hard, and it’s not a question of if but when.

This is a story of immeasurable sadness. It’s not a launch pad for vindictive or righteous commentary. Enough about what the Cowboys should do with Josh Brent. In the bigger picture that encompasses the life and death of one young man and the shattered dreams and incorrigible guilt of another, it just doesn’t matter.