At least according to defensive end Marcus Spears, there’s no understating the impact of nose tackle Jay Ratliff, who is expected to play for the first time in 2012 in the Cowboys’ week six match-up with the Baltimore Ravens. Ratliff missed the team’s first four games with a high ankle sprain.
“Getting Jay back is like getting three guys back,” Spears said Monday, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “In the nickel packages, in the base packages and then teams actually game plan for Jay Ratliff. It’ll give other guys the opportunity to probably make more plays and have more success because he’s in the game.”
In Ratliff’s absence, Josh Brent and Sean Lissemore were platooned at nose tackle, and did a good enough job to earn some playing time even after the four-time Pro Bowler Ratliff returns.
“We don’t get too caught up in the defensive line who is the actual starter,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “Certainly Liss has shown he can be an awfully good football player defending the run and against the pass. He’ll certainly have a role on this football team going forward.”
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