At 6’2″and 321 pounds, Josh Brent is a big man. He is also a talented football player. Big. Strong. Quick. A formidable force on the interior of a defensive line. So, why did he fall to the Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2010 supplemental draft? A player of his talent could have—and should have—gone much earlier.
The answer is simple: Josh Brent is stupid. He makes bad decisions on a regular basis. He did so when he was in college at the University of Illinois.
Here is an article by ESPN’s college football writer Adam Rittenberg from June 10, 2009:
Illinois defensive tackle Josh Brent is serving time in the Champaign County jail as part of a plea agreement stemming from his drunken driving arrest.
Brent pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI on June 2 after being stopped by police Feb. 21 in Urbana, Ill. His driver’s license was suspended at the time, and a warrant had been issued for his arrest for failing to appear in court in Livingston County for driving on a suspended license.
Brent was sentenced to two years probation and 60 days in jail in accordance with the plea agreement. He also must pay a fine and perform 200 hours of community service.
The Fighting Illini junior began the sentence June 2 and could be released in only 30 days.
Head coach Ron Zook indefinitely suspended Brent in February, and Brent did not participate in spring practice. Zook will make a final determination on Brent’s status after his legal issues are concluded.
The 6-2, 315-pound Brent started eight games last season for Illinois and recorded 34 tackles. He ranked second on the squad in tackles for loss with 8.5 (1.5 sacks).
Lesson learned. Right?
Here is your reminder of what happened in December 2012, after Brent had managed to get himself selected by the Dallas Cowboys and even worked himself into a more than serviceable replacement for the injured Jay Ratliff:
(AP) IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys practice-squad linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in a one-car accident Saturday and teammate Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Irving police spokesman John Argumaniz said the accident happened about 2:20 a.m. Saturday in the Dallas suburb. Brent was speeding when the vehicle hit a curb and flipped at least once, Argumaniz said.
Argumaniz said the 25-year-old Brown – also Brent’s teammate at the University of Illinois for three seasons – was found unresponsive at the scene and pronounced dead at a hospital.
The police spokesman said officers conducted a field sobriety test on Brent and arrested him. The charge was upgraded after Brown was pronounced dead.
Some people are that way. They have a lifelong pattern of self-destruction. No matter how bad the consequences of the last bad decision hurt, the next bad decision is inevitable.
So, now, while on probation, preparing for a court battle that will determine whether he goes to prison, Brent, who is being monitored for alcohol, tests positive for marijuana.
The problem here is this: You can cure ignorance with education, but there is no cure for stupidity.
Jerry Jones still looking for the next Michael Irvin?
Michael Irvin had his troubles while with the Cowboys. Women. Drugs. Court dates. But Irvin overcame those issues to help his Cowboys win three Super Bowls in four years and is now a proud member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jones remembers that. So, he keeps believing he and his Cowboys can overcome a character flaw here and there, if the football talent is significant enough to warrant the risk. Thus, you find characters like Pacman Jones, Dez Bryant, and Josh Brent, to name a few.
The verdict is still out on Dez. He appears to have made strides in the right direction. His problems may have more to do with immaturity and the obviously tenuous relationship with his mom. Pacman, on the other hand…
And now we have Josh Brent. Like former Cowboys cornerback Dwayne Goodrich, Brent’s stupidity proved fatal for someone other than himself.
Josh Brent is no Michael Irvin
Michael Irvin is a football player, who happened to have a character flaw that almost cost him his career. Josh Brent is a flawed character, who happens to play football.
There is a difference.
Irvin made stupid decisions, but Brent is just stupid. And, like Forest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.” (Actually, you could make that statement more accurate by saying, “Stupid does because stupid is.”)