Mr. Ratcliff was not injured and posted a $500 bond later that night. The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured either. A police officer at the scene said that Ratcliff failed a sobriety test given after the accident.
This is not the first problem the Dallas Cowboys have had with players driving while intoxicated. Just a few months before Ratcliff’s accident, defensive lineman Josh Brent was arrested after getting into an accident that killed another Cowboys teammate, Jerry Brown. Brent was charged with DUI manslaughter because someone died as a result of the car accident.
The loss of Jerry Brown caused the Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, to offer a new service to the players: a permanent designated driver. USA Today reports that Mr. Jones has “two limo services on stand-by and a full-time staff person on call 24 hours/seven days a week to pick up players.” This service was designed to keep players from driving drunk.
This is a great service offered by the Cowboys, and we might see other NFL or professional sports teams following the team’s lead. So far, there have been less than 10 calls to the driver.
The limo service goes above and beyond what is offered to other teams in the NFL or by the NFL Players Association.
This DWI has both legal and career consequences for Ratcliff. Previously, he was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. Now, he has been allowed to play only six of the games this season due to an ankle sprain. The injury was devastating for the Cowboys, in particular because Ratcliff’s replacement was usually Brent. Since Brent’s arrest, the Cowboys have been forced to rearrange the line-up.