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Recent posts by Eric Edholm
For a few years now, the consensus around the NFL has been that Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff has fallen into the underrated category: a high-energy penetrator who plays beyond his average nose-tackle body and makes those around him better. But in league circles, that isn't necessarily the universal take on him. Ratliff, who received a five-year extension worth $40 million ($18 million guaranteed, including a $10 million signing bonus) this week, got a mere passing review from one pro personnel director who is familiar with his work. "The past few seasons, (Ratliff) hasn't been the same," the director said. "In (2007 and '08), you could see it: He was splitting gaps, slanting well, getting low, wrecking blocking (schemes). They used him well. Wade (Phillips) should have moved him off the nose; they thought he was best there. But he gets swallowed up a lot. He gets pushed around more inside. The size (6-4, 285) is prohibitive now as the quickness has gone a bit. I'd play him at the five (technique) more."