Ratliff’s Out, So What’s Left? Scouting The Cowboys “Scrubs”

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One can’t help but wonder how Jay Ratliff may have thrived under Rod Marinelli’s tutelage in the Cowboys version of the Tampa 2. The former seventh-round pick with the motor that wouldn’t quit made four pro bowls as an undersized 3-4 nose tackle – imagine how his skills and want-to would have worked playing a position better suited to his size, and a scheme better suited to his temperament (attack!).

December 17, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff (90) prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Now that everyone knows what the organization has apparently known for quite some time, that Ratliff won’t provide a mid-season shot in the arm to a badly banged up defensive line, it’s a good time to take a closer look at what the Dallas Cowboys have, because these are the players who’ll be asked to win ballgames this season.

With the loss of Ratliff, and Anthony Spencer, and Tyrone Crawford – all for the season – and now DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys carry nine defensive linemen on their roster. We know who Ware, Jason Hatcher and Kyle Wilber are – here is a brief breakdown on the other six. None of these players were on the Cowboys radar at the start of training camp, all being very recent additions via trade or free agency.

Alliterative leanings led to a “scrub” reference in the headline, but there is some real talent among these cast-offs – it’ll all come down to what Marinelli and the coaching staff can get out of them.

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