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Dallas Cowboys starting nose tackle Jay Ratliff has met with team owner and general manager Jerry Jones about being arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, according to a source.
Jones, who had been attending practices for the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., returned to Dallas on Wednesday and discussed the arrest with Ratliff at the Cowboys' Valley Ranch complex.
Ratliff's agent, Mark Slough, did not respond for comment regarding the meeting with Jones.NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello said Thursday the league is aware of Ratliff's arrest and that it's standard procedure to follow up on all DUI cases through the substance abuse and personal conduct policy. Cowboys officials will meet with Debbie Weir, the CEO for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, after the Super Bowl to discuss ways to educate players on the dangers of driving while intoxicated. Jeff Miracle, the executive director of MADD's office in North Texas, said a meeting was initiated after Cowboys backup nose tackle Josh Brent was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter Dec. 8. Practice squad player Jerry Brown was killed in the crash. MADD already has a partnership in place with the Cowboys in which they have volunteers at Cowboys Stadium trying to get fans to sign up to become a designated driver at games. The fans who do get a free soda are placed in a drawing to win a free trip to the Pro Bowl.
Ratliff was arrested early Tuesday morning when his 2011 black Ford pickup truck struck an 18-wheeler in Grapevine, Texas.
Ratliff and the driver of the tractor-trailer were not injured, according to Grapevine police officials.
It marked the second alcohol-related incident involving a Cowboys player within a two month span. On Dec. 8, backup nose tackle Josh Brent, a close friend of Ratliff's, crashed his car in Irving, Texas, resulting in the death of practice squad player Jerry Brown.
Brent was indicted on one count of intoxication manslaughter and faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Brent can also receive probation. Blood test results determined Brent's blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.
Ratliff, according to the probable cause affidavit, failed three field sobriety tests, refused to take a breathalyzer test and, after a search warrant was obtained, had to undergo a blood test a few hours after arriving at the police station.
It's not unusual for Jones to meet with players who get into incidents with law enforcement officials.
Ratliff's status with the team was in doubt after playing in just six games during the 2012 season because of injuries and declining play.
However, when the Cowboys fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and hired Monte Kiffin, who will switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense, Ratliff's value to the team increased. Several team officials believe Ratliff would benefit from the switch in a defensive alignment.
Ratliff also got into a verbal altercation with Jones toward the end of the season in which both men needed to be separated. There was a thought that issue would also affect his status with the team. Jones said all was forgotten between the two men and he compared it to a father-and-son spat when asked about it on Tuesday in Mobile.
"As far as I'm concerned, he is outstanding, he has given everything he's ever had to the Dallas Cowboys," Jones said. "With me, any of that emotion that was involved between us is only reflected back on many times that we've had in our own way some emotional time with each other. And it in no way before was ever contentious.
"So when you've got the kind of background we've got together, then if you have a moment that you might not have been on the same page, that's like father-son, that's like family, that's like all that. That's forgotten when you know each other has your best interests at heart. We both know that."