Ratliff Ready to Return

IRVING, Tex. - As he sat in front of his locker after Tuesday's Organized Team Activity (OTA), Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff was approached by a few reporters.

Ratliff shook his head, indicating he didn't want to talk, saying only "I'll talk after my first day (back on the practice field). But I'll be back tomorrow."

The media's next access to the team is Friday, at the start of the team's mini-camp. The reporters dispersed.

But when pressed about the condition of his elbows, Ratliff opened up a little. He raised his arm to show five tiny holes where doctors went into each elbow to remove bone spurs. He said the removed spurs were "huge," holding his thumb and index finger nearly an inch apart to show the length.

Ratliff, who ended last season with his second consecutive invitation to the Pro Bowl, said he is not yet 100 percent pain-free, but he is getting there, and feels better than he has in quite some time. Pain, he said, was his constant companion throughout last season.

"They were functional," he said when asked about how bad he felt during last season. "I could use them, but they hurt a lot. There were some games, I don't know how … Let's just say it was really painful to play last year."

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