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Shutdown Corner

Six weeks after Josh Brent’s drunk driving arrest and Jerry Brown’s death, Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff arrested for DWI

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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Jay Ratliff at the Dec. 11 funeral for Jerry Brown. (AP)

Apparently, it takes more than the death of a friend and teammate, and the arrest and incarceration of another, to wake Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff to the simple reality that driving drunk is a really stupid thing to do.

Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown was killed on Dec. 8 when a car driven by defensive lineman Josh Brent flipped and caught fire on State Highway 114. Brent was indicted on one count of intoxication manslaughter and faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted. Brent is free on $100,000 bond and he is required to wear an alcohol monitor.

Ratliff was arrested on that same highway after his 2012 Ford pickup crashed into an 18-wheeler, and he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after he reportedly refused to take a breathalyzer test. Neither Ratliff nor the driver of the 18-wheeler were injured.

It's as confounding and infuriating a situation as possible, because given what happened to Brown and the penalties Brent may be in line to receive, you'd think the last person in the world who would drive drunk would be a Dallas Cowboys player.

[Also: NFL reinstates Saints head coach Sean Payton]

Ratliff went through an injury-plauged season in 2012, and has battled with the media and with team owner Jerry Jones. On Tuesday from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Jones said that Ratliff was still a key member of the organization, though it's assumed that the comments were not given with knowledge of Ratliff's arrest.

"As far as I'm concerned, he is outstanding," Jones said of Ratliff. "He has given everything he's ever had to the Dallas Cowboys. With me, any of that emotion that was involved between us is only reflected back on many times that we've had in our own way some emotional time with each other.

“And it in no way before was it ever contentious, so when you've got the kind of background we've got together, then if you have a moment that you might not have been on the same page, that's like father-son, that's like family, that's like all that. That's forgotten when you know each other has your best interests at heart. We both know that."

[Also: Ravens' Ed Reed overshadowed by Ray Lewis' last hurrah]

Jones and Ratliff went at it verbally in the locker room at Cowboys Stadium after a Philadelphia Eagles game in December. Reports indicated that Ratliff was upset by Jones asking him about an injury, and things escalated into a shouting match.

At Brown's funeral, Ratliff, a close friend of Brent's, was seen hugging Brent for several minutes.

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