Jerry Believes Jay Ratliff's In His Prime

Ratliff is coming off a disappointing and injury-plagued 2012 season

With Jay Ratliff coming off the least productive and most injury-plagued season of his career, many fans are wondering--and understandably so--if the former All-Pro is on the decline. Owner Jerry Jones clearly doesn’t feel that way.

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

Ratliff will be 32 by the time he returns from the hamstring issue that’s kept him sidelined through the first three weeks of camp, and will likely keep him out until the regular season. He was limited to just six games last year as he dealt with plantar fascia, a high ankle sprain and a sports hernia, and failed to record a sack for the first time in his career.

But Jones believes once Ratliff is back to full health, whenever that is, he’ll be back to his old, dominant self once again.

“Arguably, when a guy is 30 years old, he’s at his strongest,” Jones said. “31 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.

“I’m not concerned. If we can get him to where the soft-tissue things are comfortable for him, I’m not concerned about him playing at the level that we’d expect to open the season. I don’t want to push anything over a preseason game with him.”

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