After eight seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, there’s more than a slight chance Jay Ratliff will be playing for a new team next season, despite getting plenty of appreciation from head coach Jason Garrett, it seems that the relationship with owner Jerry Jones, age and salary in 2013 might be more important to the decision making.
Ratliff didn’t miss a single game from 2008 to 2011 as the starting nose tackle for the Cowboys, but in 2012 he played in only six games, recording 16 tackles. His sack production in general has fallen over the years, and the fact that he will be turning 32 just before the season begins, the cap-hit his salary will cause ($7 million) – with $5 million in base salary and $1.3 million guaranteed if he’s still on the roster on March 12, might be a reason for the Cowboys to reconsider Ratliff for next season, knowing they have plenty of cutting to do in order to free some cap space for Tony Romo and possibly Anthony Spencer.
Garrett himself, who seems to be on a shorter leash this season, losing some of his play-calling responsibilities to Bill Callahan, would love to see Ratliff stay for at least one more season with the team.
In games he played this year, he really played like Jay Ratliff plays. He’s been a Pro Bowl player for us. He played with a great demeanor, passion. He has a fire for the game. We’ll see where he fits (in the 4-3 defense) as we go through the spring and training camp, but he’s a great football player and we missed him last year. We’ve got to get him healthy, first and foremost, but we’re excited to get him in this scheme.
Jerry Jones, the man who will actually be making the decision if to cut Ratliff or not (or maybe even restructure his deal in someway), being the general manager/owner, seems to be somewhat on the same wave length as Garrett is when it comes to Ratliff – I think he’s going to be a great fit for this scheme.
Ratliff made four straight Pro Bowls between 2008-2011, including a first team All-Pro selection in 2009.