Jay Ratliff had two years left on his contract when the Cowboys signed him to a five-year, $40 million extension in September 2011. They paid him a $10 million signing bonus and guaranteed him $18 million.
Ratliff played all 16 games in 2011 in what he turned into his fourth and final Pro Bowl season. He played only six games in 2012 and none this year before the Cowboys released him Wednesday.
Ratliff will count $6.9 million in dead money in 2014.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, though, said it wasn't his worst deal ever.
"Well, if I had a legal pad and could show you all the decisions I’ve made ever, it’s not the worst one I’ve ever made," Jones said Thursday, drawing laughter.
It's true the Cowboys have made some bad deals, including those for running back Marion Barber, safety Roy Williams, receiver Roy Williams, cornerback Terence Newman and receiver Joey Galloway.
-- Charean Williams