Just after midnight on Tuesday, Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff was driving his Ford pickup along State Highway 114 in Grapevine when police say he drunkenly crashed into an 18-wheeler, then a highway barrier.
No one was injured. Ratliff, 31, refused a Breathalyzer test before bonding out of the Grapevine jail not long after his arrest, according to the Morning News. Police obtained a warrant to draw a blood sample, but the results won't be in for a while.
NBC 5 reports via Twitter that Ratliff was allegedly so drunk that he didn't know how the crash had occurred.
Ratliff's arrest drew immediate comparisons to the case of Josh Brent, who was charged with intoxication manslaughter following the death of teammate Jerry Brown.
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The arrest also prompted immediate calls for a culture change in "an organization at times simply out of control," in the words of DMN's Kevin Sherrington.
"[I]t should be fairly clear by now that Jerry is the forgiving sort," Sherrington writes. "He's sanctioned more bad conduct than Tony Soprano. ... [S]uch a lenient approach has consequences. Players already know that Jerry is the ultimate boss, and that they can go over the head of the head coach. They also know that Jerry will forgive your sins if you can still play."
True enough, though it's not just the Cowboys' culture that needs to change. Browse through the San Diego Union-Tribune's database of NFL arrests, and you'll wonder whether the league has more of a DWI problem or a domestic violence problem.
Drinking and driving isn't a problem specific to young, rich athletes, either. Turns out very few of the 11,000 people who die in drunk driving crashes each year are professional athletes.