There is a chance injured nose tackle Jay Ratliff not only misses the first game of season but the first six games as a member of the reserve/physically unable to perform list.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett declined to comment directly when asked about Ratliff Monday, saying "We're just going to take it day by day."
However, Garrett echoed owner Jerry Jones when he talked about it being a long season and wanted Ratliff healthy for the bulk of it rather than just trying to get him on the field for the season opener.
Ratliff has been on the active/PUP list since the start of training camp because of hamstring and groin issues dating back to last season.
He suffered a pulled hamstring during pre-camp conditioning drills which complicated his recovery from hernia surgery last December. It was one of several injuries that sidelined him for 10 games last season.
Less than two weeks before the season opener, Ratliff appears no closer to returning to the field. The Cowboys had long held hope that he would be ready for the Giants game on Sept. 8 but he has yet to take his rehab to the place where a quick return is realistic.
Now they are hoping to get him back at some point this season.
“He does a lot of stuff in the weight room or by himself on the side with some of the guys that we have helping him with the rehab,” Garrett said. “Really the biggest thing with him is gaining some strength to get to the point where he can start doing some stuff on the field. With Jay we’re going to make sure he’s healthy and ready to go before we bring him back like we would do with any player.”Clarence Hill