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Jones thinks Ratliff’s in “the prime of his career”

Jay Ratliff, DeMarcus Ware, Tyron Smith AP

Cowboys defensive tackle Jay Ratliff hasn’t done much in camp, and won’t, but owner Jerry Jones doesn’t seem particularly concerned about his absence.

The veteran lineman hasn’t practiced since straining a hamstring in the pre-camp conditioning test, and isn’t expected to work much until they return to Texas.

“Well, I think that I have to urge everybody to put it in perspective,” Jones said, via Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com. “I’m interested in him being in shape. I’m interested in him having the best chance to play as much as he can during the season. I don’t have any desire to see him make a lot of plays in preseason. I know what he can do.

“So our goal should be – and I know it’s his – to get him out there so he’s lined up [in the regular season opener] against the Giants and will stay on the field all the way through the season, relative to any injuries or anything like that. It’s unique, because we know what he is and we see what he is physically right now. He’s very capable of playing at the level that he’s always played at. We’ve just got to not get in a hurry there.”

Ratliff missed 10 games last year, while bothered with foot and ankle issues along with a sports hernia. But Jones seems convinced the soon-to-be 32-year-old can still be an effective part when he comes back.

“His style of play will allow him, if he’s healthy, to be what he is,” Jones said. “And he should be, from the standpoint of his physical health, he should be in the prime of his career. In the prime of his career.

“Arguably, when a guy is 30 years old, he’s at his strongest. Thirty-one years old, he can be at his strongest. There’s no reason in the world we handicap 31 and 32 because we’re looking at how much is left past that. As far as looking at the physical attributes of the player, he can be every bit of the player strength-wise or effectiveness in his thirties as he was at 28 or 29.”

When a player is as established as Ratliff is, preseason snaps aren’t much of a concern. He’s been around enough and done enough to know the changes the Cowboys are putting into place, and they need him well in the fall and winter more than they need him on the field now.

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12 Responses to “Jones thinks Ratliff’s in “the prime of his career””
  1. cowboyfan45 says: Aug 11, 2013 1:37 PM

    Someone should explain to Jerry that Ratliff has been a declining player for three years now..

  2. thirdistheworrd says: Aug 11, 2013 1:49 PM

    Jerry Jones approval is the most important thing in the minds of other NFC East fans.

  3. cdan374 says: Aug 11, 2013 2:08 PM

    And the delusion continues…

    Poor Jerruh!

  4. larrydavid7000 says: Aug 11, 2013 2:11 PM

    Someone tell JJ that his man got hurt during pre conditioning drills. Ya that’s an all pro start if I ever saw one. Also some needs to whip JJ glasses better. One more thing Why can’t the jets and cowboys organizations just shut up. No one cares about these teams outside of Little d and ny city.

  5. musicman495 says: Aug 11, 2013 2:12 PM

    If you want to know why the Cowboys are going nowhere at warp speed, this is a perfect example: Captain Facelist is their talent evaluator. As a Red—-s fan, I am delighted.

  6. musicman495 says: Aug 11, 2013 2:12 PM

    Er, Facelift

  7. ydlin says: Aug 11, 2013 2:27 PM

    I don’t know how optimistic I am we can count on him…

  8. chucklewis13 says: Aug 11, 2013 2:28 PM

    Only Jerry Jones can be that bold and bodacious to talk such non-sense as to Ratliff is “in the prime of his career.” Jerry has never seen a media platform that he didn’t like. He just can help himself.

  9. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 11, 2013 2:31 PM

    It’s not so much Ratliff’s age which actually is a little past prime for a defensive lineman. It has more to do with him being an undersized nose tackle in the 3-4 defense in previous years.

    While the 4-3 is probably a better fit for him, it’s a little too late I fear. Given the issues off the field too, Jerry is just kidding himself…..as usual.

  10. b1gwin says: Aug 11, 2013 2:46 PM

    Rat was on the verge of kicking Jerry’s ass last year in the locker room. Im sure thats what makes Jerry so complimentary.

  11. lakedog19352 says: Aug 11, 2013 3:51 PM

    Cowboys fan here….umm, Jerry, no he is most certainly not.

  12. vmannj says: Aug 11, 2013 4:08 PM

    Completely mis-quoted. What Jerry ACTUALLY said is that Ratliff SHOULD be in the prime of his career. Jerry does enough to make himself look like an idiot. He doesn’t need the media’s help by twisting his words.

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