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Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Jay Ratliff is rehabbing in two places

By Calvin Watkins

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff is eligible to come off the PUP list on Monday, Oct. 14.

Ratliff
Ratliff is rehabbing from a sports hernia surgery at two different places, Valley Ranch with the team trainers and an undisclosed location. Coach Jason Garrett said Ratliff received permission to do this.

Considering the issues Ratliff had with the Cowboys' strength and conditioning staff, it's unclear if he'll be activated next week. If Ratliff isn't activated, the Cowboys have three weeks to evaluate him in practice before making a final decision on his playing status. Ratliff can remain on the PUP for up to 12 weeks and if he's not activated by that point, he's ineligible to play this season.

Ratliff has rarely been seen by reporters during open periods of practice and during locker room access.

"He's been on PUP and first time he’s eligible is next week so we feel like he’s making progress," Garrett said, "and we’ll just see how he does as he gets closer to doing some more football type movements."

In the last two weeks the Cowboys' pass rush has become an issue, with the team getting just one sack and a handful of quarterback pressures. There was a thought the Cowboys miss Ratliff's presence up the middle against the run and of course in attacking the passer. The Cowboys are minus two starting defensive linemen, Anthony Spencer (microfracture surgery) and Ratliff.

The Cowboys have moved backup players, George Selvie, Nick Hayden, into starting roles with Spencer and Ratliff out.

"Well, Ratliff and Spencer are arguably two of our better players on defense and difference-making players up front and have been for a number of years," Garrett said. "But the fact is they’re not there and you have to live in the reality of these are the guys we have. We feel good about how these backup players have come in and emerged as starters, guys we’ve gotten off the street emerged as viable backup type contributors for us. We have to keep helping those guys get better and take advantage of their opportunity."