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NFL Dallas Cowboys

NFL Rumors: Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle Jay Ratliff To Play This Weekend?

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

When Jay Ratliff went down during the final possession of the first half against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday, I’m sure most Dallas Cowboys fans felt their hearts drop. Ratliff is one of the best defenders the Cowboys have, and they missed his presence earlier this season when he was out with a high ankle sprain.

Today there is good news on Ratliff’s status for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, while he is officially listed as questionable, Ratliff is expected to play. Ratliff practiced on Friday for the first time all week and that is a big deal because Jason Garrett usually likes his players to practice during the week if they are going to play on Sunday.

The Cowboys really need to Ratliff to play because he gives them relentless effort and the best combination of power and speed on the defensive line. Dallas also lacks depth at the position because Sean Lissemore will still be sidelined with a high ankle sprain as well.

If Ratliff cannot play, Josh Brent will get the start in his place. Brent has been very effective this season but there is little behind him if Ratliff is sidelined. It’s also possible that rookie Tyrone Crawford and Marcus Spears could see some snaps inside, if the team gets desperate.

It shouldn’t come to those measures and the expectation is that Jay Ratliff will be healthy enough to be effective for the entire game.

Ratliff is one of the Cowboys best defenders and they need all the help they can get with their season on the line this weekend.

you can follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi