Jay Ratliff has been released by the Dallas Cowboys, the team announced Wednesday. Ratliff has not played a down during the 2013 NFL season. He was on the physically unable to perform list before being moved to the failed physical list. Ratliff suffered a nagging hamstring injury during his conditioning test before training camp.
Ratliff was eligible to come off the PUP list, but the team was conspicuously mum on his potential return. Owner/general manager Jerry Jones finally suggested Tuesday that Ratliff was facing a season-ending injury, and that the defensive tackle was unlikely to remain with the team beyond 2013 if he couldn't get back on the field in 2012.
The Cowboys signed Ratliff to a five-year, $48.6 million extension in 2011. The team got very little use out of him, however. Last season, Ratliff appeared in just six games while dealing with a groin injury. He earned a guaranteed $18 million from the contract. The Cowboys announced that the majority of Ratliff's $10.628 million cap hit will roll over into 2014.
Jay Ratliff was at one time a great defensive lineman. He was a seventh-round pick who made the most of his chance in the NFL. He turned out to be a steal. He made the Pro Bowl four times. His burst off the ball was his biggest asset but he was strong enough to hold down his spot even when double-teamed. Then the injuries came and he wasn't the same player even when he could get on the field. It's sad that he didn't get a chance to play in this particular defense during his prime, it would have worked well with his skill-set.