IRVING, Texas -- The 10-game suspension given to Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent upon his reinstatement to the NFL was longer than the team expected, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Friday.
The NFL office ruled Tuesday that Brent could return to the Cowboys' facility in Week 7 for individual workouts and meetings, begin practicing in Week 9 and be eligible to play after the team's Week 11 bye if he follows a set of conditions, such as avoiding further legal trouble and "alcohol-related conduct."
"A critical part of the terms of his reinstatement was that he was going to get to have some time in pads with the team earlier than that 10 games mentioned," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. "That's a big deal. ... First of all, [defensive coordinator] Rod Marinelli hadn't seen him, so that was going to be problematic. Now we'll get to see him and get to be involved in watching him get in play in shape. He's working hard.
"But certainly 10 games was a lot more than I thought that it would be. But we'll make it work."
Brent's agent, Peter Schaffer, said they would appeal the NFL's decision. Brent has not played since December 2012, when he was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter after a high-speed car accident that killed his best friend and teammate, Jerry Brown Jr.
Brent retired a few days before the start of training camp in 2013, allowing the Cowboys to hold his rights and activate him from the reserve/retired list. Brent's hope was that commissioner Roger Goodell would consider his season of retirement to be the equivalent of a suspension.
Brent was sentenced to six months in jail after his conviction and was allowed to spend the final 45 days of his sentence in an alcohol and drug treatment center.
He has been working out at Michael Johnson Performance in McKinney, Texas, since his release in July.