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February 22, 2013

Cowboys don't expect Ratliff to be suspended, Garrett said he "absolutely" will be on team in 2013

The speculation regarding Jay Ratliff’s future with the Cowboys needs to stop.

According to a source, the Cowboys don’t expect Garrett to be suspended by the NFL even he is convicted for driving while intoxicated stemming from last month’s wreck and arrest in Grapevine.

It would be Ratliff’s first time to come under scrutiny of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The source believes he would most likely be fined by league czar Roger Goodell if convicted.

The notion that the Cowboys might make an example of Ratliff and release him for having such bad judgment so soon after the tragic death of practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in car wreck because teammate Josh Brent was allegedly driving under the influence can be put to rest as well.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Ratliff will "absolutely" be with the team in 2013. Garrett also expects him to return to his Pro Bowl level of play with the move to defensive tackle in the team’s new 4-3 defense after playing nose tackle in the 3-4.

Garrett said the biggest key for Ratliff is getting and stay healthy after playing in only six games last season.

 “Jay Ratliff is an outstanding football player,” Garrett said. “He’s been a pro bowl player for us. He plays with a great demeanor for us, great desire and passion for the game. He’s been playing in the 4-3 style of defense. But if you look at how he’s played through these years, he’s never been one what we call a zero nose tackle playing dead over the center and two gap… he’s always been an up-the-field guy and played on a shade and done a great job disrupting opposing offenses. We’re excited to get him going in this scheme. Again, the biggest thing with Jay is just to get him healthy, first and foremost and get him back to playing the way he’s capable of playing. The real positive thing is, in the games he played, he really played like Jay Ratliff plays. He’s really excited about that – what he did on tape. We’ve just got to get him healthy and going again.”

 Clarence Hill

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