Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and defensive tackle Jay Ratliff reportedly had to be separated following the team’s 20-19 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday after having a heated confrontation.
CBS Dallas/Forth Worth’s Mike Fisher says the incident started when Jones went up to Ratliff in the locker room after the game and said, “We need you.” Ratliff has missed seven games this season because of a combination of injuries, and he did not play on Sunday. He hasn’t played since Week 11, and it’s likely he was upset with the inference from Jones that he’s not doing enough to get out there.
Fisher was told the face-to-face exchange was “volcanic,” and that the 70-year-old owner did not back down to the 6-foot-4 300-plus pound defensive lineman.
“They’re both passionate men and great men and they want to win, that’s all it is,” a source told Fisher. “But they were in each other’s faces. People had to intervene.”
Head coach Jason Garrett addressed the matter on Monday.
“I don’t want to get into any specifics about a situation like that,” Garrett said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “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.”
This is probably the exact sort of reason why the Cowboys locked Jones out of the locker room after a game earlier this season.
Ratliff signed a five-year, $40 million extension in 2011. He had not missed a game in four seasons prior to the injury-filled season this year. This also is not Ratliff’s first locker-room confrontation; you may recall that a year ago he had a heated confrontation with a reporter in the team’s locker room.
Between the frustration of him missing time this year and Sunday’s confrontation, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cowboys look elsewhere to replace him. Interestingly enough, Josh Brent was set to start in Ratliff’s place, but he was in jail for intoxicated manslaughter.Google+