After nine seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff was released after much anticipation from various media outlets. Ratliff was on the PUP List (Physically-Unable-To-Perform List) all season long with a sports hernia. Ratliff has played since 2005; he had 158 tackles with 27 sacks. His production fell significantly in the last 4 seasons. He only had 5.5 sacks and registered 62 tackles in his last few years.
Jan 29, 2012; Honolulu, HI, USA; AFC quarterback Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers (7) throws a pass over NFC nose tackle Jay Ratliff of the Dallas Cowboys (90) during the 2012 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Ratliff also had some off-the-field issues which included a yelling match with owner Jerry Jones. He had to be restrained by his teammates during the confrontations. Jones overlooked the incident and even called him, “son”. He was arrested for a DWI in January and even that arrest caused Ratliff to overreact gaining more negative attention to himself just six weeks after teammate Jerry Brown was killed in a car crash in which another former teammate, Josh Brent was arrested for.
Ratliff was also had issues with the medical staff this past season. Doctors advised him to take a year off to heal but Ratliff didn’t want to hear of it. He refused to get medical treatment from the team medical staff further alienating himself from the Cowboys.
He signed a signed a seven-year, $48.625 million contract. The deal contains $18 million guaranteed, including a $10 million signing bonus. He was set to make $1.34 million (+ $3.66 million “signing” bonus). Ratliff issued a statement through his agent, this coming from ESPN’s website: “First let me say thank you to the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones for taking a chance on me in 2005. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Cowboys and it was always my desire to begin and end my career here in Dallas. But I understand this business and now it’s time to move on, turn the page and begin again. To all my teammates, I want to wish them nothing but the best. Stay strong, keep fighting and always believe. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for you, but I will always support you and value our time together.
“And to all the Cowboy fans, I want to say it was an honor to play for you. Cowboy fans are the best fans in the NFL and I thank each and every one of you for the support and love you have shown to me these past nine years. I will miss you.”
For many fans, the question to ponder is, what took so long? Along with the production going down and the off-field incidents, you would have thought Jones would have released him after the yelling incident. Jones apparently had a soft spot for Ratliff but the continued injuries and the reluctance to get himself treated at the Cowboys’ facility probably drew the line.
With his release, that leaves the possibility of getting more defensive line help. They did sign Jarius Wynn recently so signing Richard Seymour could be something the Cowboys could look at.
Seymour is a 12 year veteran, spending most of it with the New England Patriots. The last 5 seasons, he has been with the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders voided Seymour’s contract due to a clause that stipulated playing time requirements to be met. He missed the last 8 games in 2012 so the Raiders unceremoniously let him go. With DeMarcus Ware out up to 4 weeks, we could use the help on the line.