Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent retired from football at the age of 25 on Thursday, saying "doing the right things in life" is more important as he prepares to defend himself against a manslaughter charge in the drunken-driving crash that killed a teammate.
Josh Brent has decided to retire from football, according the Dallas Cowboys.
In a statement released by the team Thursday, Brent said he had given a lot of thought to his decision.
"I am at a point where my main focus is all about getting the priorities in my life in order," he said. "Those priorities are more important than football. Doing the right things in life are more important than football. I love the game very much. I love my teammates, but this is the right thing for me to do."
Brent is scheduled to head to court this September to face a charge of intoxication manslaughter that stems from the December car crash that killed Cowboys practice squad player and close friend Jerry Brown Jr.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he supported Brent's decision to retire.
"Let's focus on where it's got to be focused — on him getting his life in order off the field," he said.
"He's a great young man who made a mistake and wants to get his life back together, and we are there to support him in any way that we could," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said.
Since the crash, Brent's future with the team has been unclear. Though he's remained on the team's roster, he was not expected to join the team at training camp.
While awaiting his September trial, Brent has been out on bond and forced to wear an ankle monitor to determine if he drinks alcohol. While he hasn't had anything to drink, drug tests have twice found marijuana in his system.
Brent and his attorney are expected back in court Friday for a hearing on a gag order in the intoxication manslaughter case. Brent's attorney does not want the Dallas County District Attorney's Office speaking on the case before the trial.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello previously said that the league expected to determine Brent's status before the start of training camp. With Brent's retirement, there is no action for the league to take at this point, Aiello said Thursday.
Should Brent ever return to professional football, the Cowboys would still have rights to him, the team reported. Meanwhile, his retirement opens up a roster spot just days before the team opens camp Sunday in Oxnard, Calif.
NBC 5's Ray Villeda contributed to this report.