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Cowboys vs. Ravens: Jay Ratliff expected to play

After missing each of the first four games of the season for the Cowboys, defensive nose tackle Jay Ratliff is expected to be back in the lineup following a bye week and will reportedly make his 2012 debut against the Ravens, according to Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas.

Ratliff suffered a high ankle sprain in the first half of a preseason win over the St. Louis Rams on Aug. 25. In his absence, the Cowboys went 2-2 and allowed 108 rushing yards per game, as Josh Brent and Sean Lissemore rotated in replacement of Ratliff.

A Pro Bowler in each of the last four seasons, Ratliff started in all 64 games that the Cowboys played during those seasons and has 27 career sacks.

He is expected to return in time to face Ray Rice and the Ravens, whose offense averages just under 400 yards per game and is top 10 in both yardage and points scored. Rice has accumulated 419 yards on the ground with three rushing touchdowns.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.