IRVING, Texas – A scheduled pretrial hearing for defensive tackle Jay Ratliff has been postponed from Thursday to February 20.
That all but ensures Ratliff won't face any disciplinary action this season by the Cowboys or the NFL for his DWI arrest this past January. Ratliff was charged after his pickup truck crashed into an 18-wheeler near the DFW Airport seven months ago. Ratliff's blood-alcohol content was reportedly twice the legal limit.
Until then, Ratliff now can focus all of his efforts to getting back on the playing field. He is currently not on the official roster, but rather active PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) after he suffered a hamstring injury in the team's conditioning test July 20 back in Oxnard. Ratliff is still rehabbing that injury and also managing the recovery of a sports hernia injury that required surgery last December.
Unlike a few other injured players, Ratliff did spend all of training camp with the team, even accompanying the team to Arizona for the third preseason game before the club returned to Dallas.
While Ratliff is a four-time Pro Bowler, he has yet to play in the 4-3 scheme as a pro. Head coach Jason Garrett said there is some minimal concern there, but seems rather confident Ratliff will step in without any problems.
"You want those guys to get reps," Garrett said. "But there is a sliding scale and (Ratliff) is a guy who has played a lot. He's a talented player. I think he has really good awareness and instincts as a player. He understands the game. He's really played both of those spots that we may or may not ask him to play on the defensive line throughout his career. So we don't think there will be a huge adjustment there. We've just got to get him healthy and out there practicing."
Garrett said Thursday night at the Silver & Blue Debut practice at AT&T Stadium that Ratliff continues to make progress in his rehab and is hopeful he will return to practice in the near future.
The goal remains to get him ready for the Sept. 8 season opener with the Giants.