Say what you will about Jay Ratliff but for most of the 8 years he spent in Dallas he was a difference maker. He was an over-achiever with a relentless motor. Recently I have found myself cursing him and his contract but the truth of the matter is that the Cowboys had received a bargain on his initial contracts.
For the most part Jay was the kind of player and person that you would want on your team. The recent events (Ratliff getting in Jerry’s face) and his attitiude of late had more to do with his frustration than with anything else. The truth is that there are several under-lying issues at hand here at which we do not own the facts to.
Ratliff was a guy who was impossible not to root for. I mean he was a 7th round draft choice who played a position he was supposed to be to small to play and he played it better than anybody else for sometime. He put his body on the line and in the end it cost him his job.
I was extremely excited to see what kind of havoc Ratliff would cause in the 4-3. I thought it would be alot easier on him, and teamed up with Hatcher on the inside they would have made a formidable duo. It is unfortunate that we will never know what could have been.
You can heckle Jerry Jones for the contract and many people will, but thats not what this is about. This is about a sad ending to one of the better Cowboys ever. Ratliff played at an extremely high level for years, so Jerry rewarded him with a contract extension. It didnt work out, boo hoo, thats the way it goes.
I strongly believe that when the Cowboys made the switch to the 4-3 that they assumed Ratliff would be the greatest benefactor. More than likely he would have been, and if could have given them 3 more solid seasons and this contract would not have looked as bad.
Shoulda, coulda, woulda, sometimes you roll the dice and they turn on you, but you dont know if you dont roll them.
Ratliff might go on and have success else-where and I for one hope that he does. He brought his lunch pale to work everyday and worked his tale off while he was here, and I am sure that other teams will be interested in his services.
So good luck Jay Ratliff, you will always be an over-achiever and you will always be a Cowboy. It is sad that this is how it had to end.