Jay Ratliff is improving but uncertain

IRVING, Texas -- Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he's not sure if Jay Ratliff will make his season debut at Seattle but the nose tackle is improving from a high ankle sprain.

Ratliff missed training camp practices as he recovered from plantar fasciitis. But he suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason and it forced him to miss the Week 1 victory at the New York Giants.

"I watched him out there," Jones said. "It's possible but I can’t tell you that one way or the other. He’s being very aggressive on it. He’s making really good progress. Now, is it the smart thing to do? Where he plays is very demanding. Plus, you got a lot of flak going on in there. You need to be at a high level of health with your wheels inside there. I’m sure that will weigh into it, more importantly, just where he is opposed to another week, what that would do for us."

If Ratliff is out, Josh Brent and Sean Lissemore will share the snaps at nose tackle. Brent started against the Giants and finished with two tackles. Lissemore also had two tackles.

The 10 days off between the first two games can give Ratliff and other injured players more time to recover. But the Cowboys don't want to rush his return.

If he comes back to soon and re-injures the ankle, he could be lost for a longer period of time.

"We've got to handle it in a way that is positive for our team," Jones said. "I think we will. I think that we’ve had this break is kinda like a Thanksgiving break that we have (where) we play in the middle of the week and get a week (off). It gives you a chance not only to reflect but gather up and hope with your nicks and injuries, if you will. It gives us a little more time with guys like (safety Danny) McCray and (cornerback Mike) Jenkins and all of that will pay off for us and those guys will be in the lineup for us against Seattle."