Sometimes it’s better late than never, and it appears Josh Brent will finally get the role models and tutelage that he’s always needed.
ESPN.com is reporting that former Cowboys greats, Michael Irvin and Nate Newton, will serve as advisors to Brent as he tries to resume his NFL career.
The two offered to be part of Brent’s support system after his December 2012 arrest on intoxication manslaughter charges stemming from the crash that killed friend and teammate Jerry Brown Jr.
Brent subsequently retired before last season, and is now slated to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell next week and hopes to resume his career with the Cowboys. He was released Tuesday from a rehab/treatment facility, where he was allowed to serve the end of a jail sentence.
“All you can do is give him support and try to direct him in the right way,” said Newton, who served prison time on marijuana charges after his NFL career was over and now works in the Dallas media. “Let him know that what he’s doing is a great thing and can only benefit him and the Cowboys alike. I’m a realist, man. Don’t get caught up in, ‘We love you.’ Get caught up in, ‘I’ve got a second chance. Do I love myself?’ That’s who you’ve got to love.
“If you love and respect yourself, then the Cowboys are going to benefit. If you don’t love and respect yourself, the first person that’s going down is you. For the Cowboys, you’re just another story. Unfortunately, it can be a sad story. Or it can be a great story.”
Newton and Irvin both had their own bouts of on field and off the field trouble as well. Newton served time for distributing marijuana.
“How do we think we can help this kid? There’s going to come some dark days and there’s going to come some times when the old taste or the old thirst is going to come back,” said Newton, who added that Irvin has taken a more active role than him in Brent’s comeback bid. “I told him, ‘You’ve got my number, man. Call me, I’ll answer the phone. Same with Mike. Call me. Have somebody out there who can feel kind of what you’re feeling when you’re having some of those down times.’
“Because there’s going to be some times in his life, especially when he’s a Cowboy, where things are going to get stressful. And you’ve got to have somebody you can call, man, and talk it through and tell people what you’re feeling and don’t worry about hearing it again.”