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June 20, 2012

Jay Ratliff says Cowboys defense is more confident and aggressive, plans to 'shut up and do our jobs'

Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff didn’t make himself available to reporters during OTAs and minicamp this spring, but maybe it was part of the plan.

He said Wednesday in a radio interview that the Cowboys defense is going to shut up and do its job.

“We’re not going to sit here and talk about what we’re going to do this year or all the expectations everyone else has for us,” he told KTCK 1310-AM “The Ticket.” “I think the attitude for us this year needs to be we’re going to be quiet. To put it bluntly, we’re going to shut up, not say a thing and do our jobs.”

Ratliff was limited during the offseason practices because of a foot injury, but he said he can sense a change in the confidence level of the defense because of the offseason work.

“The defense is way more confident this year,” the eighth-year veteran said. “You have players really stepping up. One player that comes to mind is Jason Hatcher. We’re looking for him to have a breakout season. He’s more confident in the defense. He’s doing great things, creating a lot of disruption. The defensive backs are all over the place. Those guys are communicating. Everyone’s challenging the pass. No one’s sitting there waiting for the ball to come to make a tackle. They’re going for the ball. It’s a really aggressive defense. Everybody seems to have a great understanding of it. Everyone’s on the same page. We’re expecting great things from ourselves.”

But Ratliff has to remind himself to slow down. He knows who won the Super Bowl last year.

“Honestly, we don’t have room to talk,” he said. “The giants are the Super Bowl champions. They’ve won two Super Bowls in the last five years. We just need to be quiet and do our jobs. Nothing else.”

So does playing the Giants in the season opener mean something extra?

“It is a division game, and you know how those games can come back and bite you if you don’t take care of business,” he said. “But right now, the main thing we’re focused on is getting ourselves right for training camp and mastering each of our respective positions, our craft. And if every individual can do that, our team will be that much better. And I believe everything will work out. We will take care of business. This is no bulletin board material. This is just something for our team, what we need to do, myself included. And that’s what’s going to happen.”

Ratliff, who will be 31 in August and was slowed by a rib injury in the second half of the season last year, said age is not an issue for him right now but agreed there is a sense of urgency for him and the Cowboys right now.

“The only thing that I notice is your mentality. You really want to take advantage of these moments,” he said. “The window’s kind of closing. In your 30s, the way this business is, that’s kind of old, or whatever. I don’t feel old. ... I think the word I’m looking for is urgency.”

Ratliff was asked if he’d rather play nose tackle or defensive end.

“Honestly? I really don’t care,” the former seventh-round pick out of Auburn said. “At the end of the day, the opportunity came for me to play nose. I took it. I do my job. I need to go to defensive end, whatever the team needs, I’m willing to do that. Everyone always talks about size: You’re not big enough, I don’t know if you’re strong enough, this that or the other. They look at all the numbers. But how do you measure a man’s will just to get the job done? That’s all it is. There’s my secret.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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Comments

This is just off-season hype that we've been hearing for years now. I have to see it on the field during the regular season before I believe it.

Jay Ratliff should not care what a bunch of LOSERS think...anybody who thinkg College/HS Football is "pure" or great for kids is a JOKE...most people down there are badwagons anyway Jay...so don't give a crap.

Amamzing...I always hear how football is GOD in Texas but so many people ahve no CLUE about the sport in Texas.

Yes Jay is undersized for the NT position and he has done really well that being said. Jay needs to move around more and play more DE, Coleman is barely average.

Just get it done! Tired of hearing the hype! For someone that's taking the approach of "shut up and do your job" this was quite a long artical full of, "this guys gonna break out" and "we look really good"!

Just win and you won't have to tell us your going to!

Ratliff can't do it on his own it's a team sport. The ends need to collapse the pocket. Try doing that with 3 300+ Lb offensive linemen triple teaming you. Easier said than done. An NT is not going to get a lot of sacks or pressures. His job is create opportunities for those LBs/DEs to pressure the QB. that's how the 3-4 works. If Ratliff were in the 4-3 it'd be a different story. Everyone needs to lay off of Romo. Without him the Boys don't even have a prayer at making the playoffs or winning a super owl for that matter.

Some of you forget that the secondary was a pathetic mess last year. The whole defense was bad, true. But the secondary honestly hasn't been good since Darren Woodson retired 9 years ago. There've been some good years in between then and now. As Woodson said tackling has become rather poor at the NFL level in general.

and yet another feel good story out of Dallas. We'll see. We'll see. I've been foolishly duped one too many times to get all jazzed up over news articles anymore.

Im with Glenn on this one. Start winning and we all get short memories.

Ratliff..it sounds admirable coming from you. But we've all heard this before. We only care about you guys winning games when it matters most. We know you guys can win in September and October. Let's see if you guys can when in December and January. If you can't and we miss the playoffs yet again. It'll be time for Jerry to trim off a few more of you core guys from the makeup of this team. Sorry to inform you Ratliff..but the next guys who may be shown the door at Valley Ranch if this team misses the playoffs this season will probably be you and maybe Romo. Is it fair? Yes..it's fair! You guys have had all the time you need to be a legitimate playoff contender or possible Super Bowl contender yet you all have failed season after season. Just win Ratliff..just win!!

Jay Ratliff needs to focus on collapsing the pocket to keep QB's from steppping up in the pocket and with perfect form (front knee bent, shoulder closed & releasing at highest point) throwing deep

Jay also can't be wearing down in the 4th QTR or at the end of the season

Matter of fact Jay Ratliff needs to do fans a favor and admit he is too small to play the NT position and give us a partial refund on our tickets

I would be willing to forgive and forget if Jay Ratt finished the conversation he started with Cal Watkins though

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