IRVING -- Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff was an afterthought on draft day in 2005.
With two first-round picks in linebacker DeMarcus Ware and Marcus Spears, no one gave much thought to a defensive lineman picked in the seventh round out of Auburn.
But in another example of hard work and persevering literally paying off, Ratliff joins Ware and Spears in the millionaires club -- signing a five-year, $20.5 million contract extension Friday.
The deal includes an $8 million signing bonus.
“It’s a great story of hard work and determination,” agent Mark Slough said as he drove away from the Cowboys’ Valley Ranch training complex. “He was in the right place at the right time. We are pleased with the deal. It was good for him and good for the organization.”
-- Clarence E. Hill, Jr.