Monday, February 4, 2013
The Ratliff question
By Tim Kavanagh
After being a dominant and disruptive force on the interior of the Dallas Cowboys' defensive line for several seasons, DT Jay Ratliff appears to be on the down-slope of his career bell curve at this point, and his recent off-field malfeasance struck a serious chord, especially in light of the Cowboys' tragedy during the season involving drunk driving. Some, therefore, believe that Dallas should move on from Ratliff this offseason.
It's a nuanced situation, and the fact that the Cowboys are changing to a 4-3 defense under new DC Monte Kiffin adds another wrinkle to the discussion. Within his weekend mailbag column, ESPNDallas.com scribe Calvin Watkins addressed the Ratliff question:
Calvin WatkinsTo cut or not to cut
"I've gone back and forth with Ratliff the last few months. Before the 2012 season ended for the Cowboys, I just didn't think he was worth keeping around. His play was declining, his health was betraying him, just six games played due to injury, his attitude is bad, and the argument with Jerry Jones late in the season. But Jones surprised me at the Senior Bowl when he said all is forgiven with Ratliff. Of course, that was the same day we discovered Ratliff was arrested for driving while intoxicated. We assume Jones knew about the arrest regarding Ratliff when he spoke with reporters in Mobile, Ala., but we wonder, with all the negative backlash the franchise has received regarding Ratliff, will he stay? When the Cowboys move to a 4-3 scheme, he seems like a perfect fit. I do believe Ratliff will remain with the Cowboys in 2013. However, drafting a defensive tackle this spring should be a high priority."