The Dallas Cowboys’ hopes of using defensive tackle Josh Brent’s salary to help free up salary cap room took a hit Monday when Brent’s trial for intoxication manslaughter was set for Sept. 23.
A Dallas County grand jury in December indicted the defensive lineman in the wake of a Dec. 8 crash in the Dallas suburb of Irving that killed teammate Jerry Brown.
There is little chance Brent plays again for the Cowboys. But his $630,000 is still on the books for next season.
The Cowboys put him on the reserve non football injury list at the end of last season and can do the same in 2013. But any hopes of the salary-cap strapped Cowboys have of using his salary to clear space this year so they can sign some free agents now rest with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
The Cowboys need Brent to be suspended under the NFL’s Personal Conduct policy so they can get the salary cap room back. But last week NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Goodell wouldn’t rule on Brent’s status until his case was resolved with the courts.
If the Cowboys hope to get money back to use in free agency they need Goodell to rule on Brent’s case earlier.
The Cowboys currently have just $102,000 in salary cap space, rendering the unable to even offer deals to free agents prospects, including three that visited the team’s Valley Ranch headquarters on Monday.