Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff is remarkable. Weighing not quite 300 pounds, the 2007 fifth-round draft choice has become a Pro Bowler operating out of what is traditionally a two-gap position. Ratliff doesn’t have the girth to clog the middle, so instead, he dominates with initial quickness and penetrating leverage. No nose tackle in this era has gotten in the backfield with the consistency and ferocity that Ratliff has.
Now, we learn, there’s been even more of an incline to Ratliff’s uphill battle. Ratliff told fans in an NFL.com chat on Monday that he’s been playing with bone spurts in his elbows the past three years. The elbows feel better now, and he bench-pressed for the first time in two years on Monday.
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