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Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff gets DWI month after teammate killed in drunken crash

Jay-Ratliff-mugshotDallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated early Tuesday morning after his Ford truck struck an 18-wheeler in Grapevine, Texas. Police senior officer Sam Shemwell told NFL.com that Ratliff was the sole occupant of the vehicle and was not injured.

Ratliff was reportedly arrested after officers arrived at the scene and determined he was intoxicated and responsible for the crash. He was arraigned and released on bond on Tuesday morning. He reportedly refused a breathalyzer but police received a search warrant to draw blood. The results of the blood test are pending.

While it is alarming any time a professional athlete who has so much going for him gets arrested for a DWI, it is even more disturbing that Ratliff’s arrest comes just a month after one of his teammates, Jerry Brown, was killed in an alcohol-related car crash. Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent was driving the car and faces up to 20 years in prison after being charged with intoxication manslaughter.

As Around the League pointed out, a Cowboys team consultant said that the team was looking into setting players up with a breath analyzer device for their cars following the Brown tragedy. With the amount of money NFL players make and the amount of services teams make available for them, you would think they would be aware of how much they have to lose and not get behind the wheel of a car while drunk. The fact that Ratliff may have chosen to do so just a month after his teammate was killed has to be disappointing for Jerry Jones and company.

Photo via Grapevine Police Department

Jerry Jones and Jay Ratliff reportedly had ‘volcanic’ confrontation after game

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.

Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff Had to Be Separated from Beat Writer Calvin Watkins

From the sound of it, Cowboys beat writer Calvin Watkins is lucky he didn’t get roughed up on Thursday. Watkins, who writes for ESPNDallas.com, allegedly got into a heated exchange with Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff in the locker room. Ratliff is well-known for his dynamic personality, and apparently Watkins was pushing the wrong buttons when asking about former teammate Sam Hurd’s drug trafficking arrest.

The Star-Telegram has some of the details.

On Thursday, Watkins was asking Ratliff about the news regarding former Cowboys receiver Sam Hurd’s arrest for drug trafficking. The chat went south quickly; suddenly I see Marcus Spears and Martellus Bennett pushing both Ratliff and Watkins in opposite directions. Some rather unfriendly, and unprintable, words were exchanged. Something like, “You stink.” “No, you stink” … only with saltier language, at a much higher volume.

The most entertaining aspect of the entire thing was probably Rob Ryan’s reaction: “My money’s on Ratliff.”

For the record, DeMarcus Ware said Ratliff has two personalities and you never know what you’re going to get with him.  Ware said one day he’ll come into the locker room joking around and the next he’ll come in wanting to kill you.  Thank goodness someone was there to separate angry lineman from snarky journalist.