IRVING, Texas – It won't be disciplinary reasons keeping nose tackle Jay Ratliff off the field this week.
Head coach Jason Garrett wouldn't go into details regarding an alleged altercation between Ratliff and owner Jerry Jones following the team's win against the Eagles on Dec. 2, but he said no action will be taken against the nose tackle, who's still fighting through a groin injury.
"I don't want to get into any specifics about a situation like that," Garrett said. "I do know this: Jay Ratliff loves to play football. He loves to be out there. He loves to compete. I think he loves his teammates and this team, and if he was able to play, he'd be out there playing."
Ratliff has only played in six games this season, missing the last three because of his groin. Ankle and foot injuries held him out at the beginning of the season, as he missed all four games before the bye week.
Garrett said Ratliff's desire to get back onto the field isn't a question, but his latest injury has stopped him from doing so.
"Oh, Jay Ratliff wants to play football," he said. "Anybody that's around that guy for a minute knows that he loves to play, and just watch him play, he's 100 miles per hour. He has tremendous passion and a tremendous motor."
The Cowboys could use as much help at the position as possible with nose tackle Josh Brent out after his arrest. Garrett said Ratliff remains day-to-day until his body can respond properly to the necessary workload.
"He came out and tried to practice last week, early on in the week, and it just didn't respond very well," Garrett said. "He tried to battle through it and do a little bit more as we got closer to the game, and we just made the determination that he wasn't going to be able to go."
Garrett said the same approach will be taken this week, though it doesn't appear he'll be ready to practice any time soon. Ratliff has missed every practice since the Browns game.
Ratliff hasn't registered a sack this year, but he has compiled 16 tackles in his six games and would provide a veteran presence in the middle of the defensive line.
"He's a heck of a football player and he can really help us," Garrett said.