Cowboys activate Brent after 10-game suspension

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Cowboys activate Brent after 10-game suspension
This image taken from video and released by the Irving Police Department shows the crash scene after Dallas Cowboys football players Josh Brent and practice squad member Jerry Brown were in an accident early Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012 in Irving, Texas. Brown died in the suspected drunken-driving incident. Brent, the driver, is charged with intoxication manslaughter. (AP Photo/Irving Police Department)
FILE - This 2012 file photo shows NFL football player Jerry Brown, then of the Indianapolis Colts. Brown's family filed suit last week in a Dallas County court against Beamers Private Club of Dallas. The suit alleges the club served "large sums of alcohol" to Josh Brent, the former Cowboys player driving in December when his car crashed, killing Brown, who was a member of the Cowboys practice squad. (AP Photo/File)
Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent arrives at court for closing arguments in his intoxication manslaughter trial Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in Dallas. Lawyers wrapped up their closing arguments Tuesday morning before the case went to the jury for deliberations. Prosecutors accuse the former defensive tackle of drunkenly crashing his Mercedes near Dallas during a night out in December 2012, killing his good friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Tire skid marks are seen leaving the road as news cameraman film the area where a single vehicle accident involving Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent occurred Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Irving, Texas. Brent is facing an intoxication manslaughter charge after a one-vehicle accident that killed linebacker Jerry Brown, a member of the team's practice squad. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tire ruts are seen on the ground with skid marks, at rear on road, at the site of single vehicle accident involving Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent as a news cameraman, rear, films the area, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in Irving, Texas. Brent is facing an intoxication manslaughter charge after a one-vehicle accident that killed linebacker Jerry Brown, a member of the team's practice squad. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Mourners file into Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church before the start of a funeral for Jerry Brown, a linebacker on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in St. Louis. Brown was killed in a car accident on Dec. 8, that left his teammate and friend, Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, facing a manslaughter charge for allegedly driving drunk. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
A casket containing the body of Jerry Brown, a linebacker on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, is wheeled out of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church during his funeral Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in St. Louis. Brown was killed in a car accident on Dec. 8, that left his teammate and friend, Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, facing a manslaughter charge for allegedly driving drunk. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
A man wears a shirt with a picture of Jerry Brown, a linebacker on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, as another person holds a program for Brown's funeral service outside Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in St. Louis. Brown was killed in a car accident on Dec. 8, that left his teammate and friend, Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, facing a manslaughter charge for allegedly driving drunk. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent enters court to face sentencing for his intoxication manslaughter conviction in Dallas, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Brent was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation for a drunken car crash that killed his friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. Brent could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. (AP Photo/Pool/LM Otero, Pool)
Former Dallas Cowboys Josh Brent looks around in court during the penalty phase of the intoxication manslaughter trial in Dallas, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Brent was found guilty on Wednesday, of intoxication manslaughter and faces probation to 20 years for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend Jerry Brown. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Former Dallas Cowboys' Josh Brent tries to shield his face from photographers as walks in the court hallway during a break in his trial for intoxication manslaughter Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Dallas. Brent could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of driving drunk and causing teammate Jerry Brown's death. Jurors can also convict him of manslaughter. A judge has imposed a gag order on the attorneys in the trial. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Dallas Cowboys suspended player Josh Brent walks the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Brent was the driver last week in a car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown, Jr.(AP Photo/LM Otero)
In this photo taken Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent looks on during warm ups before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Arlington, Texas. Brent is facing an intoxication manslaughter charge after a one-vehicle accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown, a member of the team's practice squad. Irving police spokesman John Argumaniz said the accident happened about 2:20 a.m. in Saturday, Dec. 7, 2012, in the Dallas suburb.(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2012, file photo, Dallas Cowboys' Josh Brent leaves the field after the New York Giants defeated the Cowboys 31-14 in an NFL football game in East Rutherford, N.J. Brent is facing an intoxication manslaughter charge after a one-vehicle accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown, a member of the team's practice squad. Irving police spokesman John Argumaniz said the accident happened about 2:20 a.m. in Saturday, Dec. 7, 2012, in the Dallas suburb. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 02: Josh Brent #92 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 21: Josh Brent #92 of the Dallas Cowboys against the Carolina Panthers during play at Bank of America Stadium on October 21, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Cowboys won 19-14. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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IRVING, Texas (AP) - Josh Brent is a big step closer to playing football again, almost two years after a drunken-driving crash that killed a teammate and led to his conviction for intoxication manslaughter.

The Dallas defensive tackle was activated Tuesday, a day after the end of a 10-game suspension imposed by the NFL when he was reinstated before the season.

Coach Jason Garrett says Brent, listed at 320 pounds, is overweight and hasn't indicated whether he will be ready for the Cowboys' next game Nov. 23 at the New York Giants. Dallas has its bye this week after beating Jacksonville 31-17 in London.

The 26-year-old Brent's last game was Dec. 2, 2012, six days before the crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown in the Dallas suburb of Irving. He has been practicing for two weeks.

"Really, it's just his football readiness," Garrett said. "He's been away from it for a little bit, but he's working hard. He's trying to get his body right. You can see his football instincts and feel for the game coming back, but he still needs to practice and get himself acclimated to football."

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones didn't rule out Brent being ready against the Giants. He's been fielding questions for weeks about the perception of giving Brent another chance in Dallas under the circumstances.

Jones' answer never changed much and frequently included references to Brown's mother wanting her son's friend and former teammate at Illinois to return, and Brent wanting to play for a young daughter Brown left behind.

"He had some experiences since he's last been on the field ... that make him appreciate every second he gets to be on the football field and gets to be contributing and he's got some real goals," Jones said Tuesday night at an event publicizing the team's new headquarters. "He wants to help that little girl very much, which is Jerry Brown's daughter."

Brent was a backup filling in as the starter for an injured Jay Ratliff the last time he played for the Cowboys. This time, he brings size the front otherwise lacks in defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's scheme, which puts a premium on quickness.

"I think he brings something that really the other guys don't have in terms of his size and physicality, especially if you start thinking about teams who might want to line up and run the ball on us," executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "I think Josh will be a good complement to what we have."

Brent avoided a lengthy prison stay in the crash that killed Brown, instead getting a 180-day jail sentence when a 10-year prison term was suspended. After his release and reinstatement by the league, he was allowed to be at the practice facility earlier in the season but couldn't be involved with the team.

Brent's return comes two weeks after rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was activated. The second-round pick missed the first eight games after breaking his right foot during training camp.

The Cowboys waived linebacker Tim Robbins to make room for Brent, but now face another decision involving a defensive lineman with Amobi Okoye. He is on the non-football injury list with a brain disorder that he's been recovering from since last year, and Dallas either has to activate him by Thursday or keep him on the reserve list for the rest of the season.

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