Ratliff not 100 percent, but getting there

IRVING -- Cowboys All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff has practiced the last two days after surgery to both elbows.

Ratliff has played for in pain for years, but 2009 was too much to handle.

"It was just annoying and it was something I should have had done years ago," Ratliff said after the Saturday morning practice. "I feel better a significant difference. It's just all about getting my strength back up because I haven't been able to do all I wanted to do body wise."

Ratliff is not getting limited during practices this weekend but understands he needs to take his time before he's fully healthy. This spring, Ratliff worked out nearly everyday in Atlanta because his goal was to practice with his teammates during either OTAs or the mandatory minicamp. He did not want to come back when training camp started, July 24, because he wanted to return sooner.

"So far it's been good," he said. "I feel pretty good. It's not 100 percent but its definitely functional. The pain is dull so it's something I can deal with compared to what I've been dealing with. I'm happy about it and excited to be with the guys. The chemistry is still there everyone is just hungry. Nobody is talking about any Super Bowls or anything like that. We're doing what we have to do to prepare for the season."