Ratliff’s Release Sends Message to Players from Cowboys Organization

The Dallas Cowboys organization made a huge statement and put players on notice this week with the release of defensive player Jay Ratliff.  Ratliff who was a four-time pro-bowler and spent 8 years with the Dallas Cowboys was released on Wednesday to the surprise of many Dallas Cowboys fans.

Why was this release so shocking? Partly because Ratliff hasn’t played a down since November of 2012 due to his injury and the contract extension he got from the Cowboys in 2011.  Fans like me would have thought that the Cowboys would have waited to release Ratliff after the season ended or not at all even due to his salary cap numbers, but Dallas decided to release him with 10 games left to go in the season.

Oct 28, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff prior to the game against the New York Giants at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Media reports about Ratliff’s release have been inconsistent but speculation has been abundant.  Ratliff was injured no doubt about that but the severity is uncertain and releases from the team and Ratliff’s agent haven’t given many clues as to the real reason Ratliff was released.  Ratliff’s time with Dallas the last few seasons hasn’t been on the best of terms.  First there was the DWI Ratliff received shortly after team mate Jerry Brown, Jr was killed in an accident where former team mate Josh Brent was driving.  Then there was the big confrontation Ratliff had with owner Jerry Jones in the locker room.  These specifics may have played a part in the release of Ratliff so early in the 2013/2014 NFL season.  Another thing that might have played a part in the release mid-season could have been the fact that Ratliff was non-existent on the sidelines even in street clothes.  Let’s take for example Sean Lee who was injured last season.  He was very visible on the sidelines and supportive of his team even if he couldn’t be on the field.

Now that Ratliff has been released it sends a huge message to the team that the Cowboys organization wants players who are willing to make an effort to be apart of the team and those players who have the hunger to do whatever it takes in order to maintain that star on their helmet.  This isn’t anything new for those Dallas fans that pay attention to the ins and outs of the team however.  Not many fans know that only 16 players remain from when Jason Garrett took over as head coach for Wade Phillips.  It’s finally beginning to dawn on even an anti Garrett fan, like me, that he really is implementing that you have to earn that star on your helmet philosophy.

The message is clear to continue to be a Dallas Cowboy, regardless of whether you are a pro-bowler, veteran or rookie,  you must be a team player and have the hunger to play the game, which is good because Dallas really needs to come together as a team in order to win the next few games on the road.

Topics: Dallas Cowboys, Jason Garrett, Jay Ratliff

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  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    What Garrett has been doing should have been done a long time ago. Fans have criticized Garrett for mistakes he has made but the good he has done has far outweighed the bad. Furthermore, anybody reading this post please tell me which coach since the beginning of professional football has not made some mistakes. Fans, you better hope the Cowboys keep Garrett because he has more input than any other coach since Jimmy Johnson. If he is fired, the Cowboys will be right back to where they were before Garrett became the coach with incompetent Jerry Jones being more involved.

    • David Horton

      here is the simple answer………jerry jones is not a good gm…….he admits he isnt……..so if he really cares about the team , the fans, the “star on the helmet” which does mean something , or at least used to…….he should hire a gm and shut the hell up……..he thinks he is some kind of half ass al davis or something, but he isnt, and should not be talking about or involved in football with the cowboys……..this comes from a fan that has seen them all the way from lilly, garrison, “dandy don” , “too tall” , “the manster”…….to romo and demarcus ware…….he is a rich moron……………….!!

  • terell28

    I totally disagree Ratliff has been hurt and overpaid the last 3 seasons. Then JJ goes and restructures his deal after being M.I.A the same goes for Austin/Free who didn’t produce most of which got better deals, for being terrible or M.I.A. If you wanted to send a message first day of the last off season all three of those guys should have been let go. Romo/JG stinks up the joint in DC for the NFC East crown why does Romo get rewarded with a big contract? Everything JJ/JG have done with this team baffles me, we are still the same mediocre team from when JG took over his first full season.

    I also ask what good does JG being involved get us when we are 8-8 every year?

    • Guest123

      Good question. If you think about it only 16 players remain from when JG took over so in essence we are still being a competitive team even though it is “technically’ being rebuilt

  • SmartThinking

    The only message Jones has sent is that a player who’s lost his heart for the game can coast at full salary for 18 months before unceremoniously heading for greener pastures. Ratliff was used up two years ago. No differently than we’re beginning to see with Ware, if you’re a small player going toe to toe with significantly bigger, younger players every snap, you just get used up faster. Ratliff was a beast four seasons ago. This is what comes of the aging process in pro football today.

  • Sandy’s Wingingit

    It’s too bad about Ratliff, but injuries are an undeniable consequence of getting older in this game. And I hope Jerry’s the one getting the message, and is a little more reasonable when he’s doling out some of those crazy contracts, and considering back up units, etc… or even better, if he would turn over those responsibilities to someone more qualified. But I can’t see that happening. If Garrett is influencing the personnel changes, I suppose that’s probably more than any coach has had since Johnson. Time will tell if it’s a good thing. I’m reserving judgement for now… but I’m running low on patience. Us fans have been disappointed for far too long now.

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