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Jay Ratliff solid, not irreplaceable

Cowboys will miss effort if NT can't go in opener, but they can replace production

Updated: August 28, 2012, 1:33 PM ET
By Jean-Jacques Taylor | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- DeMarcus Ware is the Dallas Cowboys' best defensive player. Sean Lee is the defense's leader.

Jay Ratliff, whose game is built on emotion and passion, provides the unit's soul.

Ratliff plays with a relentless effort every snap that the Cowboys will certainly miss if a high ankle sprain suffered Saturday against St. Louis keeps him out for the regular-season opener against the New York Giants.

"He's a tough guy, like everybody knows, and he's made progress ...

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