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Jay Ratliff: A Bye Week Appreciation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    So, it’s the bye week. You’re a Cowboy fan. You’re annoyed with this team. Confused. You fail to understand how a team so talented, so productive on offense, can be so galactically dumb. You are vexed. No game this week means two whole weeks to contemplate all the various ways that this team has managed to aggravate you over the past five weeks. The fumbles. The penalties. The dropped passes. The jiggling coach.

    Well, let us take a brief timeout from all that angst to focus on something good. Something positive. Let us cast aside all your worries about megalomaniacal owners, and fade routes to Martellus Bennett. Let’s focus on something that makes us happy.

    Let’s focus on Jay Ratliff.

    Oh, Jay Ratliff. You wonderful man. You are an oasis of consistency in a giant muddle of confusion and stupidity. You are all that we have to hold onto. You, and you alone, have kept us all from committing seppuku. You tie up defenders. You blow up runs between the guards. You do that thing Leon Lett used to do where you get off the ball a half second before everyone else does. You big, wonderful man.

    Through the year, Ratliff has only 11 tackles and 1 sack. Yet, with most run-stuffing DT’s, numbers fail to do his contributions justice. Ratliff belongs in the same company as Pat Williams, Ted Washington, Sam Adams, and numerous other nose tackles throughout time who helped hold down the center of the field, freeing up other defenders to make plays. Ratliff has always been quite good at this, but this year he’s improved to the point where he deserves to be mentioned among the top defensive tackles in the game.

    So that’s nice. It’s nice to know that, despite all the inconsistency, the Cowboys still have solid, steady players like Jay Ratliff. If only he knew how to pass the ball.