Jerry Jones says Jay Ratliff is a legal issue

IRVING, Texas -- Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys' owner/general manager, said he couldn't get into specifics but said the Cowboys' problems with defensive tackle Jay Ratliff remain a legal issue.

Ratliff was released last week by the team for health reasons. A portion of Ratliff's $715,000 base salary was guaranteed in case of injury. The Cowboys can't get any of Ratliff's signing bonus money because he didn't violate any clauses of his contract.

"Again, that’s a legal matter," Jones said after Thursday's practice. "But all agreements require people to abide by the agreements. That’s why you have legal issues. We obviously have an agreement with him, had an agreement with him, and to the extent that you have some concern within that, that’s why you have legal."

Ratliff had a sports hernia surgery in December and was expected back sooner than what the team expected. There was communication problems between Ratliff and the Cowboys' team doctors in terms of treatment and the type of surgery.

Ratliff had surgery to repair tendons torn off his pelvic bone, which is slightly different than a sports hernia surgery.

"I had said earlier that I thought I was going to focus on good things," Jones said. "The contribution that he made here, we all need him real bad, this team needs him real bad, needed him real bad, was disappointed that he wasn’t playing, disappointing that the resources that are involved here aren’t going to a guy out here making plays."