Yesterday was the Dallas Cowboys annual luncheon celebrating their commitment to community servitude and partnership with Ed Shipman and Happy Hill Farm Academy. The majority of the players and coaches were in attendance including the four time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay Ratliff.
Ratliff was placed on PUP, rendering him unavailable until six weeks into the season. Ratliff, who rarely talks to the media had a few choice words to say about the Cowboys Medical and Conditioning staff that is widely considered the best in the league.
Ratliff played in only six games last season due to a sports hernia and plantar fasciitis, he was originally placed on PUP the minute Dallas landed in Oxnard for Training Camp. Ratliff was listed as a hamstring case, then as soon as the preseason approached it became a groin issue.
Coach Jason Garrett has all the confidence that Ratliff will play this season but it is a bit interesting that all Training Camp long he was expected back for the opener. Ratliff hinted that there were other things involved when he said:
“I’m not going to be here and be a distraction to anybody. They said just stay as professional as possible about the whole situation, but everybody involved knows what’s going on.”
Now I don’t want to speculate on more than that as I tend to give players of his caliber the benefit of the doubt; however many in Cowboys Nation have now started questioning the need for the oft disgruntled Ratliff.
All the recent stories from the screaming match with local Cowboys beat writer Calvin Watkins, the altercation with Jerry Jones, and his recent brush with the law indicate that there is reason for doubt. When you add his recent injury history you get a recipe for disaster. With the likes of newcomer Nick Hayden and staple Jason Hatcher playing at such a high level, is Jay Ratliff becoming somewhat of an afterthought? I guess we’ll see in week seven.