According to a source, the Cowboys are seeking a portion of a $10 million signing bonus Ratliff received in 2011, portions of a $1,340,000 base salary and monies owed on a luxury suite at AT&T Stadium.
Cowboys officials understand it will be difficult to obtain any money from Ratliff, who now plays for the Chicago Bears, but the source said the team is trying to make a statement.
"It just stems from him not playing for us under the pretense of injury, and then days later playing for someone else," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Monday at the NFL owners' meetings. "We just have a complaint and we'll see where we take it from there."
Ratliff's agent, Mark Slough, declined comment.
Jones spoke with league officials regarding the grievance during Monday's owners meetings.
Ratliff battled team officials including the medical staff regarding treatment for groin injuries suffered in 2012. Ratliff underwent sports hernia surgery toward the end of the season.
Team officials expected Ratliff to return for the 2013 season, but he was slow in his recovery and the team placed him on the physically unable to perform list in late August.
Ratliff was cut by the Cowboys on Oct. 16, 2013, and he signed a one-year deal with the Bears on Nov. 6, 2013.
He played in five games for the Bears last season, which raised some issues with the Cowboys considering he told team officials he wasn't ready to participate in games.
The Bears signed Ratliff to a two-year deal earlier this month.
Any grievance filed is heard by the NFL management council.
After Ratliff was released by the Cowboys, Slough said his client wanted to play football again, he just wasn't sure when he would be available to do so.
"If he could've played [in 2013], he would've been on the field," Slough said the day Ratliff was cut by the Cowboys. "Those people who ever questioned his loyalty or maybe questioned his desire to play, integrity, all those things, those questions were misplaced. But again I think a lot of that was no one really understood the severity of the injury Jay suffered and the result was there were unrealistic expectations for his return being bantered about."