IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys have filed a grievance against defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, the result of what the club says was a fraudulent claim of injury, which led to his Oct. 16 release by the club — and his ensuing signing and participation with the Bears three weeks later.
"It just stems from him not playing for us under the pretense of injury, and then days later playing for someone else," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters Monday while attending the NFL Owners Meetings in Orlando. "We just have a complaint and we’ll see where we take it from there."
There does not seem to be much precedent for such a case and a source says the Cowboys are willing to explore other paths (like legal action) toward recovering money from Ratliff, who pocketed a $10 million signing bonus in 2011 and shortly thereafter entered a lengthy conflict with the organization over his medical care and physical well-being.
The Cowboys have $7 million of dead money on their 2014 salary cap due to the Ratliff transaction. In addition to attempting to make a stand on principles, the Cowboys know relief there is far more beneficial to the franchise than any cash refund.
Jones and Ratliff engaged in at least two face-to-face conflicts in his final months as a Cowboy, the dispute running so deep that part of the team’s grievance against its former Pro Bowler is his unwillingness to pay his tab for a luxury suite at AT&T Stadium.