Roger Goodell said he consulted with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) before handing down a 10-game suspension for defensive tackle Josh Brent.
Brent is suspended for the first 10 games of the season and not allowed to participate in any team activities for the first six weeks of the year. He can begin practicing in Week 9. He will not be permitted to return if he is involved in any prohibited alcohol-related incidents.
The suspension stems from the drunken driving accident that killed fellow Cowboys teammate Jerry Brown in December 2012.
Goodell discussed Wednesday evening his reasoning behind the length of suspension for Brent at a Play 60 event in Renton, Wash. ahead of Thursday night’s season opener between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.
“Well you look at the issues, obviously,” Goodell said. “I met with Josh. We obviously had to go through a great deal of discussions with outside experts also, including representatives of MADD and felt that where he was this was an appropriate way to bring him back into the league, but he still has to meet a very high standard and he understands that. He can’t afford to have any mistakes from here.”
Brent and his agent, Peter Schaffer, are appealing the suspension. By the end of the suspension levied by Goodell, Brent will have missed 30 games in the league since the incident.
The Cowboys have said he will be welcomed back to the team when he is reinstated to the league.