The Dallas Cowboys just went from uncomfortable to downright appalling.
Less than a month-and-a-half removed from a drinking-related tragedy involving two Cowboys players and a death that shocked the football community, Dallas nose tackle Jay Ratliff has reportedly been arrested for an incident similar in nature.
As reported by Jonathan Betz of ABC's news affiliate in Dallas, Ratliff was reportedly arrested early Tuesday morning for driving while intoxicated in Grapevine, Texas:
Betz (@jebetz) January 23, 2013
According to Sam Shemwell, the officer on the scene at the time of the crash, police determined Ratliff had been consuming alcohol at the time of the collision with the 18-wheeler. Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas reports:
Police arrived in the 2800 block of East State Highway 114 at 12:36 a.m. to investigate a crash. Police, according to Shemwell, upon an investigation of the crash, arrested Ratliff after allegedly determining he was intoxicated.
Ratliff had a disappointing 2012, playing in just six of Dallas' 16 games to injury. The 31-year-old nose tackle has been one of Dallas' most consistent players since earning a starting role under former head coach Bill Parcells.
Ratliff has been a fan favorite in Dallas, but this story has the potential to both alter that perception and his entire football career.
It's a disappointing story in its own right, but more disappointing when we are reminded of the story of two other Cowboys players—Josh Brent and the now-deceased Jerry Brown Jr.—in December.
Ratliff was a member of the team during the tragedy, yet forgot all about Brown's lost life when he took the wheel early Tuesday morning. Dallas continues to make off-the-field headlines that do nothing for the franchise's reputation—a direct contradiction of what owner Jerry Jones was trying to avoid this offseason.
After watching two teammates make the same mistake just weeks apart from each other, it's time for some serious internal examination at Valley Ranch.
We'll continue to provide up-to-the minute updates on Ratliff's status as more information becomes available.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.