Ratliff to return after elbow surgeries

All-Pro nose tackle Jay Ratliff will participate in the Dallas Cowboys' mandatory minicamp after missing all of the organized team activities while recovering from elbow surgeries, a source said.

Ratliff had surgery on both elbows after the Pro Bowl. He spent the last four weeks in Atlanta, working with personal trainers to rehabilitate after the surgery and catch up on his conditioning. Ratliff's work in Atlanta included mixed martial arts training.

Ratliff is returning from Atlanta on Monday but isn't expected to participate in the Cowboys' voluntary OTA workouts this week. The three-day mandatory minicamp begins Friday.

Ratliff's contract played no role in his absence from the team's Valley Ranch practice facility, according to the source.

Ratliff signed a five-year, $20.5 million contract in December 2007, months after the former seventh-round pick replaced injured Jason Ferguson as the Cowboys' starting nose tackle. Ratliff has since earned a pair of trips to the Pro Bowl. He's a rarity as a 3-4 nose tackle who plays almost every defensive snap. His 13.5 sacks the last two seasons rank second behind All-Pro outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware among the Cowboys.

Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.