Tim Cowlishaw: Brent’s likely return to Cowboys, not other off-field activity, most troubling
It’s their indifference (and the NFL’s as well) to Driving Under the Influence arrests — and the almost inevitable return of Josh Brent to this team’s roster — that troubles me greatly.
Brent, the former Cowboys defensive tackle convicted of intoxication manslaughter in the death of teammate Jerry Brown in 2012, met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday. Although Brent has served his 180-day jail sentence, it’s up to the commissioner to determine what punishment the league will exact.
That’s because — in part, thanks to the NFL Players Association — the league takes a much tougher stance on a single positive steroids test than it does for drunk-driving arrests. Think about the idiocy of that.
Pop a steroid once at the wrong time, and it’s an automatic four-game hit. The punishment for DUI convictions tends to be two games. Not coincidentally, that’s also the punishment Baltimore running back Ray Rice received for a case in which he is seen on video dragging his unconscious fiancée (now wife) off an elevator after an altercation.
What a wonderful collective bargaining agreement these two sides have achieved.
Brent’s punishment figures to be much stronger than the standard DUI suspension, given the extreme consequences that were suffered. He was driving somewhere between 110 and 134 mph on State Highway 114, where the speed limit is 45. His teammate died in the crash.
Brent was about 18 months removed from being on probation for a previous DUI conviction at the University of Illinois. In between the crash and the trial here, Brent failed two drug tests that sent him temporarily back to jail and was also accused of tampering with his ankle monitor.
Hey, I don’t care how badly the San Diego Chargers ran through this team’s defense Thursday night, and neither should you. Does anyone really think the answer to the problems of the NFL’s worst defense is Josh Brent?