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Wednesday, October 23, 2013
DT Jay Ratliff medically cleared

By Ed Werder
ESPN

Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff was medically cleared by Dr. Williams Myers to resume workouts with the intention of continuing his NFL career, Ratliff's agent, Mark Slough, said in an email obtained by a league source.

Ratliff flew to Philadelphia to be evaluated Wednesday by Myers to determine whether he can begin preparing for on-field tryouts with some of the six teams that have contacted him since the Dallas Cowboys released him last week, according to sources.

Jay Ratliff
Sources say that six teams have contacted Jay Ratliff since his release by the Cowboys last week.

Slough sent an email following the appointment informing the interested teams that his client had been medically cleared and intended to meet with teams in the next few weeks.

The Cowboys projected Ratliff to be a Warren Sapp-type presence who could provide an inside rush as they converted from a 3-4 defense to Monte Kiffin's 4-3. Instead, his Cowboys career ended with each side blaming the other.

Myers performed surgery on Ratliff to repair a sports hernia injury last December, with the Cowboys expecting a three- to six-week recovery process.

Despite a defensive line decimated by injuries, the Cowboys released the four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle because, sources said, the team was told by the independent physician who was treating Ratliff and providing injections that he would require at least three more months before being medically cleared to play.

Some in the Cowboys' organization did not trust Ratliff, with one person telling ESPN, "I think he just decided he didn't want to play for Jerry Jones anymore.''

Ratliff and Jones had to be separated while arguing in the locker room following a game at Cowboys Stadium last season after the owner began a conversation by telling the player how much the team needed him.

The relationship has been strained since then, and divergent views about the seriousness of Ratliff's injury emerged. The Cowboys believe he underwent a routine operation that should have required no more than six weeks from which to recover.

After being waived last week, Slough said that the injury involved muscle being torn from the bone and contended the Cowboys knew all along that he would need close to a year before being healthy enough to return.

The situation became contentious when Ratliff decided to hire his own doctor and to rehab apart from the Cowboys. He strained a hamstring when performing the team's conditioning test at the beginning of training camp.