IRVING, Texas – There are things about the departed Jay Ratliff that members of the Dallas Cowboys executive wing, coaching staff and personnel department cannot or will not say.
But there are no such restrictions – restrictions of law or manners – on defensive leader Sean Lee.
“If you don’t want to be here and play for this team,” a fired-up Lee tells “Ben & Skin” on 105.3 The Fan, “then move on. I’d rather go down with guys who want to be here and want to win than win with guys who don’t want to be here.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has tiptoed around the odd breakup with the former four-time Pro Bowler, stating that “this has become a legal matter.” Coach Jason Garrett sidesteps the controversy by rote, repeatedly noting, “Jay was a heck of a football player for us and we wish him well.”
But Lee isn’t into politics and when it comes to Ratliff — released last week by the after 11 months of tiresome inactivity only to claim good health now that he’s escaped from Valley Ranch — he does not sound like he’s into well-wishing, either.
“When it comes to that situation,” Lee says, “we’ve moved on.”
There are financial reasons for Cowboys folks to be upset with Ratliff; the way he allegedly arranged his departure ends up causing Dallas to take a a $6.928 million cap hit next season while the player walks away with $10 million in bonus money. But Lee seems to be speaking to the football side of the matter … for the need for 53 men to bond together, to make sacrifices together … and for how the chain can be broken by a weak link.
“We have guys who are ready to play, who work extremely hard, and who care about each other as teammates,” Lee says. “As teammates, all we care about is each other.”