Jay Ratliff’s future with Cowboys is murky

Posted Monday, Oct. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Owner Jerry Jones and vice president Stephen Jones are denying a report by NBC that the Cowboys have decided to move on from injured defensive tackle Jay Ratliff.

However, they did nothing to clear up the mystery on when or if he will play with the team this season.

NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya made her report based on a conversation she had with Jerry Jones.

According to Tafoya: “My interpretation based on Jerry Jones’ body language and his tone is that Jay Ratliff will not be playing for the Cowboys anymore.”

“I’m not familiar with that report,” Jerry Jones said after the game.

“Didn’t hear it, and certainly our plans are to visit, not only with him, but medical, look and see what we’re going to do. But we’ve still got a lot of work and decisions to make there.”

Said Stephen Jones: “I think that’s inaccurate. I think there are a lot of things we’re going to be looking at over the next couple of weeks. Obviously, we’re concerned, I said that last week, that it’s not coming along better. But we won’t know anything like that for another… We’ll get a good going over this week for sure and it should give us a lot more feel.”

Ratliff hasn’t played since he hurt his groin last November and underwent surgery for a sports hernia.

He missed all of training camp and the preseason because of the hernia and a hamstring injury, forcing the Cowboys to place him the physically unable to perform list.

Ratliff is eligible to return to action this week.

That appears unlikely. The question now is when and/or if.

“I’m not optimistic,” Stephen Jones said. “I’m not pessimistic. I want to get more information. And we’re just where we need to give it, it’s that time, we said we’d give him, give it the six weeks.

“And now we need to sit down with him, see exactly where we are, and we’ll certainly comment further after we get a chance to visit with him.”

The Cowboys have until Nov. 4 to activate him from the PUP list or put him on season-ending injured reserved.

One other option is to cut him outright, decide whether to activate him or put him injured reserve.

Ratliff, who was being counted on to play one of the critical defensive tackle spots in the Cowboys’ new 4-3 scheme, is scheduled to count $8.2 million against the salary cap next year.

Cutting Ratliff would cost nearly $7 million in dead money against the cap next year.

Ratliff, 32, has not practiced this year after suffering a hamstring injury in the conditioning test to start training camp.

The hamstring injury apparently interrupted the recovery from the groin surgery at the end of last season.

Ratliff’s sack totals have gone down each season following a career-high 7.5 in 2008.

Ware hurt again

DeMarcus Ware was injured in another area of his body Sunday night against the Redskins.

Already having missed game time with a stinger and a back injury, Ware missed much of the first half with a right quadriceps injury.

It continues a trend of injuries for the Cowboys’ all-time sack leader.

Last year, he played the last half of the season with arm and shoulder injuries that severely hampered his effectiveness.

Ware came into the game as the Cowboys’ sack leader with four.

Murray out

Running back DeMarco Murray missed most of the game with a sprained knee, leaving rookie Joseph Randle to handle the running game duties in his first action of the season on offense.

Randle had played one game on special teams.

Murray, who missed six games last year with a foot injury, had seven carries for 29 yards and a touchdown when he left the game.

Murray was diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament.

He will be re-evaluated today.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett doesn’t know how long he will be out.

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