Cowboys hopeful Jay Ratliff can play vs. Giants

IRVING, Texas – Jay Ratliff will not practice this week, but the Cowboys are not ruling out the Pro Bowl nose tackle for the Sept. 5 season opener at the New York Giants.

Ratliff suffered a high ankle sprain in the first half of Saturday’s preseason game vs. St. Louis and was on crutches afterward but not in a boot. He had an MRI on Sunday.

“We feel like he has a chance to practice at some point in the near future and possibly play in this ballgame, so we’re just going to evaluate him day to day,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s a tough guy, I think everybody knows, and he’s made progress since the game.”

Garrett said Ratliff is not in a protective boot, which could suggest the injury is not that serious. Ratliff played with a high ankle sprain a few years ago as well. He missed most of this year's training camp with plantar fasciitis but went through walkthroughs and returned to practice on a limited basis during the third week in Oxnard, Calif.

If Ratliff does not play against the Giants, Garrett said the Cowboys would mix Josh Brent and Sean Lissemore at nose tackle while also playing different fronts.

“You could tell that he was working his way back into playing, but he played with that demeanor and relentlessness that we love,” Garrett said of Ratliff’s action vs. the Rams. “And he was playing fairly well from what I could tell and he was playing with that passion, but you could see he was trying to get his feet and hands underneath him and getting ready to play in an NFL game.”