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Saturday, August 24, 2013
Jay Ratliff's status for Week 1 in doubt

By Calvin Watkins

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Starting defensive tackle Jay Ratliff was at AT&T Stadium watching the Cowboys' 24-18 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night. But that's all he was doing and it might continue for a while.

Ratliff, who is recovering from groin and hamstring injuries, won't practice Monday and his status for the regular-season opener against the New York Giants is in doubt.

"It's early to rule it out," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said. "But it's something you shouldn't book."

Ratliff missed 10 games in 2012 with an assortment of injuries and underwent season-ending surgery for a sports hernia in December. Ratliff has been slowed in his recovery because he strained a hamstring during the conditioning test for training camp.

He hasn't practiced during training camp other than a few teaching sessions at half-speed and is still on the physically unable to perform list.

"I don't have a way to assess beyond next week, but I don't see him on the practice field next week," Jones said. "We are having to really feel our way. It's what we've been doing. We've got to keep an eye on his strength as far as coming out to early."

Jones also said injured left guard Nate Livings has a degenerative condition in his surgically repaired knee and he won't be available for Monday's practice.

"He does (have a degenerative knee), but most guys with that amount of playing time might have that," Jones said of Livings who has played in 68 NFL games during five seasons.

Livings wouldn't comment about Jones' thoughts on his knee other than to say, "that's Jerry's word. I have no words. No comment."

There is some good news.

Starting cornerback Morris Claiborne (sore knee) said he expects to return to practice Monday. Claiborne did some running the last three days, including Saturday morning at Valley Ranch.

"I'm real anxious to get back out there and get back to running around," Claiborne said. "Just get back in my old groove again and just real anxious. Just did some more running and more cutting, that kind of stuff. A little conditioning."

Backup running back Lance Dunbar (sprained left foot) said he hopes to get out of a protective walking boot Sunday. Dunbar won't play in the final preseason game against Houston on Thursday night, but the goal is for him to get ready for the regular-season opener.