With defensive end Anthony Spencer sidelined for the season because of microfracture knee surgery, the return of defensive tackle Jay Ratliff is even more vital to the Cowboys' hopes of success in 2013.
Ratliff was placed on injured reserved/designated to return after six weeks at the start of the season because of lingering hamstring and groin injuries. Three weeks are down and Ratliff should be back in three more weeks, possibly in time for the Oct. 20 match up against the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to coach Jason Garrett, Ratliff's rehab is going well and he is on target to return next month, barring a setback.
"You are just trying to get him better," Garrett said. "We made that decision because we wanted give him a full chance to come back off that thing healthy rather every week saying should we put him up or whatever, just giving him a chance to come back and be healthy from that thing. He is halfway through it. We feel like he is making progress and hopefully he will be back here in a few weeks."