By John Clark
Just one month after one his teammates was killed in a drunk driving crash, Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Jay Ratliff has been arrested for driving while intoxicated, according to a report from the Dallas Morning News.
Sources say Ratliff, widely renowned as one of the top nose tackles in the National Football League, was arrested on Tuesday just after midnight following a two-car accident in Grapevine, Texas.
According to sources, Ratliff was driving west on a state highway when his Ford F150 truck ran into a tractor trailer. After striking the large truck, Ratliff’s car reportedly spun into a highway barrier.
Remarkably, no one was injured in the crash, so Ratliff was very fortunate to have escaped the deadly consequences suffered by his deceased teammate, 25-year-old Jerry Brown Jr.
Last month, Brown was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Josh Brent, another defensive lineman for the Cowboys, who crashed and flipped his car while driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.189, which is more than twice the legal limit in Texas.
Brown tragically died shortly after the accident, and Brent, his longtime friend and teammate, will soon face trial on a charge of intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony.
Fortunately, Ratliff escaped the fate of his teammates, although the 31-year-old player will likely face serious legal consequences for his actions.
According to sources, Ratliff failed a field sobriety test at the scene of the accident, although he refused to take a breathalyzer test after being booked in jail. He was, however, released from county jail Tuesday morning, after posting a $500 bond.
Under Texas law, police are allowed to obtain a warrant to draw the blood of potential drunk drivers if they refuse to take a breathalyzer test. Sources say this practice was used to draw blood from Ratliff, although police are still awaiting the results of his toxicology report.
Neither the Cowboys nor Ratliff’s agent had released a statement at press time, as both parties are likely waiting for the legal system to play its role before they jump to any conclusions about the incident.
If Ratliff is suspended by the league for any period of time, it could hurt the Cowboys in 2013. Sources say Ratliff has played in four Pro Bowls during his eight-year tenure in Dallas.
In 2011, Ratliff signed a $40 million contract extension that will pay him handsomely until 2017. Of course, the Cowboys could void his contract if he suffers a serious injury, but $18 million of the contract is guaranteed, so Ratliff has plenty of financial security.