The circumstances behind the release of former Dallas Cowboy defensive tackle Jay Ratliff haven’t exactly been made clear. However, something must have happened between Ratliff and the Cowboys, at least is Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee’s comments to 105.3 The Fan are any indication.
Lee had the following to say about his former teammate:
If you don’t want to be here and play for this team, then move on. I’d rather go down with guys who want to be here and want to win than win with guys who don’t want to be here.
While Lee certainly has a strong opinion of Ratliff, it still isn’t much of an explanation has why he was released by the Cowboys as soon as he was eligible to be taken off the the physically unable to perform list. Even Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is an open book by NFL standards, didn’t shine much light on the situation.
“I had said earlier that I thought I was going to focus on good things, the contribution that he made here, how we all need him real bad, this team needs him read bad, needed him real bad,’’ Jones said. “I was disappointed that he wasn’t playing. It was disappointing that the resources that are involved here aren’t going to guys out here making plays.’’
Based on Lee and Jones’ comments, you could infer that perhaps Ratliff wasn’t as interested in getting back healthy and playing as the Cowboys would have liked. However, that is nothing more than an educated guess at this point. Whatever it was must have been a big deal, as cutting Ratliff will trigger a $6.98 million cap charge in 2014, when the Cowboys may already be 31 million over the cap.
“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. “I don’t want to get into the detail of the expanse of the legal issues that may be involved here. But that’s the reason I’m not going to get into detail and talk about it.’’
I’m sure the Cowboys will look to recoup some of that money for a player that apparently didn’t “want to be here and play for this team.” But, for now, who know.
Ratliff, who had been cleared to play football again, is currently looking for another team.