Did we change our minds on Jay Ratliff?

January, 28, 2013
1/28/13
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It happened early Tuesday morning.

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Jay Ratliff was busted and charged with driving while intoxicated. He suffered no injuries after crashing his pickup truck into the side of a tractor trailer in Grapevine.

The initial reactions were to release Ratliff.

Todd Archer, Tim MacMahon and I came to the same conclusions: send him home.

But after a weekend of reflection and reading comments from fans, you begin to wonder: is that the right thing to do?

In a SportsNation poll, 66 percent of the fans said release Ratliff. That’s more than 9,000 people who took part in the poll. Is 66 percent a high enough number to convince you Ratliff should be released?

Some of the comments on a column I wrote saying to cut Ratliff were mixed.
From nwkoihn:
Cut him. He didn't learn from his friend. Maybe he'll learn when he's not earning a paycheck.

From pkfalconshomer:
Another idiot that just doesn't get it - your friend and teammate died and this is what you take from that experience - pathetic.

From Wolverine21xxx:
There's no excuse for stupidity you lose a teammate to DWI and you almost kill yourself for the same reason SMDH

From Mstuart77:
I'm a Cowboys and a Ratliff fan but this is really disappointing (if it's found to be true) he should have learned his lesson the hard way through Josh Brent and Jerry Brown. It's just way too soon for a mistake like that, he has to be released. Heck of a player but this really tells me alot about his character.

Dig deeper and you read Cowboys fans want to keep him.
From Unstopp88:
Jay's a beast and I would hate to see him go. My guess would be Dallas keeps him if they can.

From Badactor41:
The defense is already struggling as it is, people stop rushing to judgement!

This is from my mailbag:
Please give me proof that Tony 'Golden Boy' Romo has never driven while drunk. Thank you. Prove that Ware and Sean Lee are not drunk drivers. you can't. So cut the whole team. They just haven't been caught yet. That's the only thing that makes them any different from Ratliff, is that they haven't got caught yet. Jake Shepherd (Eugene, Oregon)

More comments of support from Twitter:
@dallas_golay:
Dallas is financially tied to this guy b/c of his signing bonus, plus his ability to be the 3technique in the new 4-3.

When I asked fans if Ratliff should make a scheduled appearance in El Paso one said, "As an El Pasoan, sadly yes" @stevebaeza

Are we losing our focus here?

I still believe Ratliff should be released. It’s not an easy decision, but one that has to be made. I’m sure it’s the last thing Jerry Jones thought he would have to do when he arrived in Mobile, Ala. last week. Now a key component to the roster has placed his job status in doubt.

What do you think after having some more time with it?
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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