These are tough days for the Dallas Cowboys, of course, both on and off the field. And in the midst of tragedy, the team appears to be fracturing at the seams.
Several reports coming out of the Dallas camp indicate that after the Cowboys' win over Philadelphia last Sunday, team owner Jerry Jones and nose tackle Jay Ratliff got into a verbal confrontation so severe that team personnel had to separate the two. Jones, who has a habit of talking to players in the locker room after games to offer encouragement or prodding, apparently walked up to the oft-injured Ratliff and said just three words: "We need you."
Ratliff then got to his feet and an argument ensued. Credit Jones; the 70-year-old didn't back down from the 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman (though the fact that Jones signs Ratliff's checks might have had something to do with it). Team officials had to separate what one individual called a "volcanic" confrontation.
"They're both passionate men and great men and they want to win, that's all it is," an anonymous source told Dallas' CBS affiliate. "But they were in each other's faces. People had to intervene."
Ratliff is one year into a five-year, $40 million contract. His replacement, Josh Brent, now faces intoxication and manslaughter charges stemming from Saturday's accident, meaning the team could use Ratliff. But he hasn't played since Nov. 18, and he's missed seven games this year due to a variety of injuries. He has 25 tackles and no sacks this year.
This also isn't the first time Ratliff has had a locker room confrontation; last year, he and a Cowboys beat reporter got into a shouting match.
Locker room arguments aren't the kind of problem Dallas needs right now. And Ratliff probably ought to remember that you probably shouldn't get into screaming fights with your boss. Never good for the long-term prospects.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
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