MOBILE, Ala. – For the second time in two months, a Cowboys defensive tackle has been arrested for a DWI-related incident.
This time, there were no serious injuries, but it’s definitely a serious situation for Jay Ratliff, who spent Tuesday morning in jail in Grapevine. Ratliff was released on bond later that morning.
Soon after midnight, Ratliff was reportedly involved in a crash with his Ford pickup truck and an 18-wheeler on Highway 114.
Cowboys officials said Ratliff did not sustain any major injuries, nor did the driver of the 18-wheeler. However, Ratliff was arrested at the scene for suspicion of driving while intoxicated after reportedly refusing to take a breathalyzer test.
This comes less than two months after the Dec. 8 accident that killed linebacker Jerry Brown. Defensive tackle Josh Brent was driving and arrested for vehicular manslaughter.
At the funeral for Brown, Ratliff was seen hugging Brent, a close friend, for several minutes.
Ironically, the two play the same position and were both missed on the playing field toward the end of the season. Ratliff suffered from a groin injury that required sports hernia surgery and Brent was placed on the non-football injury reserved list following the accident.
Ratliff had a season to forget in 2012, which included a foot injury that forced him to miss most of training camp, followed by a high-ankle sprain in the third preseason game. That kept Ratliff out until the sixth week of the season, and while he played well for a few games, it wasn’t long before the groin injury occurred that ultimately ended his season.
And along the way, there was a locker-room incident with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Dec. 2 following the Eagles game at Cowboys Stadium. Eyewitnesses said Ratliff and Jones had a face-to-face shouting match that occurred after Jones confronted the defensive tackle and inquired about his injury.
Ratliff has not been available for comment since before the groin injury. On Tuesday in Mobile, Ala. at the Senior Bowl, Jones was asked about the incident and his relationship with Ratliff.
It’s expected that Jones was fully aware of the incident when he made this comments about Ratliff:
“As far as I’m concerned, he is outstanding. He has given everything he’s ever had to the Dallas Cowboys,” Jones said. “With me, any of that emotion that was involved between us is only reflected back on many times that we’ve had in our own way some emotional time with each other.
“And it in no way before was it ever contentious, so when you’ve got the kind of background we’ve got together, then if you have a moment that you might not have been on the same page, that’s like father-son, that’s like family, that’s like all that. That’s forgotten when you know each other has your best interests at heart. We both know that.”
With or without this latest incident, Ratliff was a player who could be released for salary-cap reasons. If Ratliff is waived before June 1, the Cowboys would save about $1 million on the cap. If they cut him after June 1 or at least designated him as a June 1 cut, meaning he could be cut after the Super Bowl but his roster spot wouldn’t come off the books until June 1, the Cowboys could save about $5 million on the cap this year, but then would get a $4 million hit next season.