Recently Dallas Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff was moved to the PUP list which means he will miss the first 6 weeks of the season at the very least. Word is he has a groin injury however at the start of camp we were told he pulled a hamstring during his conditioning test.
The Cowboys seem to have high hopes for Ratliff in their new 4-3 defense but I just don’t get the impression that Ratliff is into it. Isn’t it time for Jerry Jones to get a clue and move on from his Ratliff obsession? The owner has a tendency to hold on to troubled players much too long and in my view this would be the latest example.
I wrote a blog back in January that it was probably time to move on from Ratliff and suggested drafting a DT. From that blog,
“Even before this recent DWI accident, Ratliff was becoming more trouble than he is worth. The scales were tipping toward the cold fact that Ratliff isn’t worth his pay any longer. But this DWI could be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back for Ratliff.”
I believe in stepping back and looking at the big picture when making these kind of decisions so let’s have a look at Ratliff’s timeline.
November 18, 2012– After playing 6 games, Ratliff went out with a groin injury.
December 2, 2012– After defeating the Eagles in the locker room, Jerry Jones says to Ratliff “We need you”. Those three words are very provocative evidently, as it sends Ratliff into a rage where he stands toe to toe with the owner shouting. STORY
December 13, 2012– Ratliff has surgery to repair a sports hernia. When asked why he didn’t rehab at Valley Ranch, Ratliff said recently, he rather not say why. Hmmm. Interesting.
January 22, 2013– Early Tuesday morning (after “chillin’ with a homegirl”) Ratliff is charged with a DWI when he struck an 18 wheeler in his pick up truck. MORE
July 2013– It’s reported that Ratliff injures a hamstring during conditioning test at the start of camp. Stephen Jones (Jerry’s mini me) says he isn’t concerned. HERE (Actually that’s his response to just about every question he is ask)
August 2013– Ratliff’s DWI trial is delayed so he will not face NFL suspensions during the 2013 season.
August 2013– Ratliff is placed on the PUP list and then makes a cryptic comment,
“Absolutely I’m disappointed,” Ratliff said, “but everyone knows what the issue was way beforehand.”
Head Coach Jason Garrett responds in a rather company line manner, “We know he’s working very hard to come back, and our training staff and all our medical people are working hard with him,” Garrett said. “He’s got to take it one day at a time and do what he needs to do, but again, football seasons are long.”
Do you get the feeling we have a serious lack of communication going on in the Cowboys organization? Well I do. Stephen Jones isn’t concerned, Jerry Jones thinks Ratliff will be great in the 4-3, Jason says Ratliff is trying his best to rehab but what Ratliff is saying and doing flies into the face of all that talk.
MY Final TAKE:
Ratliff had very productive seasons back in 2008 and 2009 and would have been a good fit for the 4-3 defense back then. But he hasn’t been healthy and has not had a sack since 2011. Sadly, Ratliff’s body is banged up from years of playing the role of an undersized nose tackle in a 3-4 and it’s starting to affect his personal life too. Ratliff needs help and I hope he gets it. But I’m afraid this talk of him helping them in 2013 is delusional on the part of Jason and Jerry. Get Ratliff the help he needs and get the defensive line the help they need in the form of a new defensive tackle.