Cowboys' Jay Ratliff facing DWI charge

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by JONATHAN BETZ and JOE TRAHAN

Bio | Email | Follow: @joetrahan

WFAA

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 23 at 6:00 PM

Veteran Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated early Tuesday morning.

According to a police report released Wednesday morning, Ratliff was heading westbound in the middle lane in the 2800 block of Highway 114 when he turned his Ford F-150 pickup truck right into the side of an 18-wheeler shortly after midnight. Ratliff lost control of the vehicle, striking a guardrail before coming to a halt.

Ratliff, 31, was not injured.

While no alcohol containers were found inside Ratliff's truck, officers responding to the scene arrested him after observing "clear indications" that he had been drinking.

Ratliff refused to submit to a Breathalyzer test at the scene of the crash, so he was taken to the police station, where a warrant was obtained to draw blood for a determination of his blood alcohol content. The results of the test will not be available for at least 10 days, said Sgt. Robert Eberling in a statement released Wednesday morning.

Ratliff was released on a $500 bond before noon.

Jay Ratliff has played for the Cowboys for his entire professional career, since 2005.

Teammate Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter in December following a crash in Irving in which teammate Jerry Brown Jr. was killed.

Cowboys power brokers are all at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama this week. They declined comment on Ratliff's arrest.

Before the news broke on Tuesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked about a locker room argument he had with Ratliff late in the season. Jones said it was like a family squabble, and he dismissed it.

Now the team –– and Ratliff –– must deal with this.

Ratliff battled injuries for the better part of the last two seasons, and the team's switch to a new 4-3 defensive scheme next season would mean a change in responsibilities for No. 90, possibly giving him a chance to avoid facing a double team with two blockers on every play.

Now all of that is on hold pending the resolution of his legal problems.

Jonathan Betz reported from Cowboys headquarters in Valley Ranch; Joe Trahan reported from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

 E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com and jtrahan@wfaa.com

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