Jay Ratliff Returns to Practice and More NFC East News

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistOctober 4, 2012

Aug.1, 2012; Oxnard, CA, USA;  Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jay Ratliff (90) works on conditioning during training camp. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

On the surface, it would not appear as though the Dallas Cowboys have missed nose tackle Jay Ratliff a whole lot. With Ratliff injured through the first four weeks, Josh Brent has played well, and the run defense has done a good job.

But maybe Ratliff has been the missing piece of the puzzle with the pass rush, which didn't get as much pressure as it should have against the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears and has recorded only nine sacks in four games. 

We might find out soon, because Ratliff practiced on Wednesday for the first time in over a month, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Cowboys could really use an extra push from Ratliff against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6, so his status will be something to keep a close eye on during the bye week.

Here's what else is being talked about in the league's most popular division.


Dallas Cowboys

Jonathan Bales of DallasCowboys.com has noticed that defenses are disguising their looks against Dallas more often than in the past.

From Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News: Jason Witten admits "the wins haven't shown it" but says Jason Garrett's a great coach.


New York Giants

From Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News: Rueben Randle dismissed questions raised by Cris Collinsworth regarding his work ethic.

Randle might have to step up now, because Ramses Barden has a concussion, per Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star-Ledger


Philadelphia Eagles

Remember: Jason Peters was never placed on the season-ending injured reserve. CSN Philly's Reuben Frank suggests that there's a very small chance Peters returns for the playoffs.

From Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer: It looks as though Demetress Bell has officially supplanted King Dunlap at left tackle.


Washington Redskins

Had Trent Williams not been slapped with a drug suspension last year, he might not have played with that injured knee of his on Sunday. Rich Campbell of the Washington Times explains.

From CSN Washington's Tarik El-Bashir: DeAngelo Hall thinks the Falcons will present the biggest test yet for this Redskins team, and he's right.