On Wednesday's "Around the League Podcast," we broke down the sudden release of defensive tackle Jay Ratliff by the Dallas Cowboys. Ratliff's fall from grace, to us, looks like another example of owner Jerry Jones paying players too much money long past their prime -- but the trouble doesn't end there.
Jones said Thursday that he isn't at liberty to comment on Ratliff's release because of "differences of opinion" about the player's injury situation. "This has now become a legal" matter, Jones said, according to The Dallas Morning News.
That doesn't come as a big surprise after NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday on NFL Network's "Around the League Live" that he spoke with Ratliff's agent, Matt Slough, who said that his client's relationship with team doctors was "strained."
Slough said there were "unrealistic expectations" for Ratliff's return, emphasizing that "no one really understood the severity" of the hamstring injury that landed the defender on the reserve/physically unable to perform list through the first six games of the season.
Jones expressed hope in August that Ratliff would be ready for the opener, but that expectation was way off. So was the decision to hand Ratliff $18 million guaranteed on a contract extension back in 2011.
The Cowboys and Ratliff's people might not agree on how this situation has played out, but the fine people of Dallas all can agree that Jones has work to do as a do-it-yourself general manager.
UPDATE: Jones called the situation "a sad matter" and said Ratliff's contract was not his worst decision -- Jones has made far worse choices in his lifetime, the owner said with a smile.