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Cowboys Mum Regarding Latest Jay Ratliff Issue

Posted Oct 24, 2013


IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys did their best to refrain from commenting on the Jay Ratliff saga on Thursday.

The strange story of the former Cowboys defensive tackle took another turn Wednesday night, when it was reported that Ratliff was cleared medically to play in 2013. It’s a surprising turn of events, considering it was just a week ago when the consensus opinion was that Ratliff would be unavailable to play football until 2014.

It was an issue Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones wasn’t too keen to talk about.

“I don’t want to comment because of the legal aspect of it, and I had said earlier that I was going to focus on good things – the contribution that he made here, and this team needed him real bad,” Jones said. “It was disappointing that he’s not playing, disappointing that the resources involved aren’t going to guys out here making plays.”

Jones reiterated the word “legal” half a dozen times during a short session with reporters. It’s unclear exactly what he meant, but it’s a safe bet he was referring to Ratliff’s $40 million contract extension, signed in 2011 -- $18 million of which was guaranteed.

“All agreements require people to abide by the agreements, and so those are how you have legal issues,” Jones said. “We obviously have an agreement with him – had an agreement with him – and to the extent you have some concern within that, that’s why you have legal.”

Ratliff’s agent, Mark Slough, said last week that his client’s injury, classified all year as a sports hernia, was much more severe than initially reported. The Cowboys released him for failing a physical following a six-week stay on the Physically Unable to Perform List. Ratliff missed the entirety of the team’s training camp.

“I don’t want to comment because of the legal aspect of it, and I had said earlier that I was going to focus on good things – the contribution that he made here, and this team needed him real bad,” Jones said. “It was disappointing that he’s not playing, disappointing that the resources involved aren’t going to guys out here making plays.”

Garrett was asked about the issue at his Thursday morning press conference, but he was much less willing to go into detail.

We made a decision -- like we talked about last week -- that we felt was in the best interest of our football. And we wish Jay nothing but the best going forward,” Garrett said.

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