IRVING, Texas – Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was not disguising his pleasure with Jay Ratliff’s return to the lineup Sunday at Baltimore as he addressed the media Friday in front of a picture of the Pro Bowl nose tackle outside the locker room.
“He’s coming back, we know what to expect,” Ryan said. “It’s going to be great. I can’t wait for him out there. Josh Brent’s done a fantastic job, so has Sean (Lissemore), but when you put that guy in the middle of your defense you’re going to be a heckuva lot tougher. We can’t wait to get him out there.”
Ratliff is listed as probable for Sunday’s game after missing the first four games with a high ankle sprain suffered Aug. 25 against St. Louis.
The Cowboys will monitor Ratliff’s snaps after such a prolonged layoff. He practiced only a handful of times in training camp because of plantar fasciitis before hurting his ankle in his only preseason game.
“He looks fantastic,” Ryan said. “I’m sure he’s hurt and banged up, but I think keeping him out of action for four weeks and the open date, we’ve got to play him regardless because he’s chomping at the bit, so it’s going to get ugly if he doesn’t play anymore.”