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December 30, 2009

Ratliff could have a big day

The Eagles had the same five offensive linemen the past six games, all victories. They will make a change this week, and Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff could be the beneficiary.

Eagles center Jamaal Jackson, who had made 71 consecutive starts, tore an anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in Sunday's victory over the Broncos. Right guard Nick Cole replaced Jackson, with Max Jean-Giles replacing Cole at guard. Stacy Andrews could start at guard this week.

But Jackson will have his hands full with Ratliff, who has 71 tackles, six sacks and 31 quarterback pressures. Ratliff had eight tackles, two sacks and two quarterback pressures in the Cowboys' victory over Philadelphia earlier this year.

"I'm not worried at all," Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said on a conference call with us today. "That's nothing to obviously his ability. He's a great player. He's made great plays. He has six sacks so far this season, and a guy who obviously is a Pro Bowler. But you know the thing about it is, you have to have confidence in the guys up front. Nick Cole is stepping into a center role, but he was our backup center as well as our starting guard anyway. He knows the calls. He knows what we have to do. I feel confident in our guys to be able to be on the same page."

-- Charean Williams


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