Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, who was released by the Dallas Cowboys last week, has been medically cleared to return to action, according to his agent.
Agent Mark Slough sent a letter to 31 NFL teams, advising them of Ratliff’s availability. Slough said in the letter than Dr. William Meyers, who performed sports hernia surgery on Ratliff in December, cleared Ratliff to play Wednesday after an examination in Philadelphia.
“Jay will now continue his individual workouts in Dallas and work hard to regain further strength and improve his conditioning,” Slough said in his letter to front-office executives. “His goal is to be ready to [work out] for clubs in a couple of weeks. He currently weighs 304 [pounds] and is in very good shape … just needs to take his workouts up a notch.”
Ratliff, 32, played in only six games last season because of injuries, but he is a four-time Pro Bowler.
RELATED: Jason Garrett wishes Jay Ratliff nothing but the best
Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett declined get into a discussion regarding disconnect between last week’s decision to cut former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay ‘Ratliff for health reasons and yesterday’s announcement that he had been cleared to play immediately and soliciting offers from other teams.
“We made a decision like we talked about last week that we felt was in the best interest of our football team,” Garrett said. “And we wish Jay nothing but the best going forward.”
Ratliff has not played football since undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia last December. He missed all of training camp and the preseason because of complications with his rehab. The Cowboys placed him the physically unable to perform list to start the season with hope of him returning after six weeks.
The Cowboys released him last week because it was believed that Ratliff was no where near close to being ready to return to the field and would not likely be healthy again until 2014.
That was then, before Ratliff met with the doctor who performed his surgery and was cleared to play, roughly one week later.
“Certainly health was a huge factor in that decision,” Garrett said. He hasn’t been able to play for us for the last year and a half. That was the primary reason we made that decision and again, we wish him nothing but the best going forward.”
What’s also played a factor in the decision is the friction between Ratliff and the team for much of the last year. He had his surgery and rehab with private doctors because of disagreements with the team’s medical and training staff.
He also had physical altercation in the locker room with owner Jerry Jones last season because he erroneously felt his commitment was being questioned.
This was one year after Jones signed him to a five-year, $40-million contract extension in 2011.
The Dallas Cowboys showed patience with Ratliff because his great play and passion in practice and games over the years.
With him now cleared to return to the field, in what has proven to be a clear disconnect in communication between the Cowboys and Ratliff’s camp, last week’s decision was certain evidence that the patience has run out.
“Again, from a health standpoint, we didn’t feel like he was ready to go. We just felt like that was the best decision for our club,” Garrett said.
RELATED: Jerry Jones expresses disappointment over Jay Ratliff drama
There is obvious lingering disappointment among the Dallas Cowboys brass regarding former defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and drama surrounded his release week for health reasons and yesterday’s announcement that he had been cleared to play immediately and was soliciting offers from other teams.
Owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett declined to go into detail regarding the disconnect between Ratliff too injured to play for the Dallas Cowboys and being free resume football activities with other teams a week later.
Jerry Jones alluded to pending legal issues for his silence stemming from the five-year, $40 contract extension Ratliff signed in 2011.
“I won’t be commenting about this because of the fact there are legal issues involved here relative to the league and otherwise,” Jones said. “But all agreements require people to abide by the agreements. That’s why you have legal issues. We obviously have an agreement with him, had an agreement with him, and to the extent that you have some concern within that, that’s why you have legal.
But Jones however couldn’t help but acknowledged there was certain disappointment with the Ratliff drama.
“I don’t want to comment because of the legal aspect of it,” Jones said. “I had said earlier that I thought I was going to focus on good things, the contribution that he made here, we all need him real bad, this team needs him read bad, needed him real bad, was disappointed that he wasn’t playing, disappointing that the resources that are involved here aren’t going to guy out here making plays.”
The Dallas Cowboys released him last week because it was believed that Ratliff was no where near close to being ready to return to the field and would not likely be healthy again until 2014.