Film breakdown: A few observations on Jay Ratliff against the Rams, and just in general

Jay Ratliff is a really impressive player.  A few months ago, I did a film breakdown of him dominating the Eagles’ Jason Kelce.  That was an eye-opening exercise for me.  There’s a thinking that Jay Ratliff is in decline, and he very well may be.  The stats certainly support that premise:

Jay Ratliff Games Tackles Sacks FF FR TFL
2008-2009 32 91 13.5 2 5 12
2010-2011 32 69 5.5 1 3 6

In three days, Ratliff will turn 31.  Even if he is in decline, he is still a very disruptive player.  Here he is blowing up a run play.  2 yards of penetration:

Here he is completely messing up a another run play.  He gets 3 yards deep into the backfield, and the back is forced to cut back away from Ratliff, getting very little on the play:

And just look at his get-off at the snap.  Look at Rat compared to the rest of the DL.  Some of that is timing out the snap, but there’s absolutely no lack of explosion.  These are two different plays:


Ratliff consistently messed up plays throughout this entire game, and yet, his stat line:

1 tackle.

Ratliff sustained a high ankle sprain, and his status for the opener against the Giants is in serious doubt.  It’ll be a huge setback to the Cowboys defense if he can’t play.

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  1. Josh says:

    I peruse articles at bloggingtheboys frequently, so I’m a Cowboys fan and also familiar with JimmyK. In my opinion, he’s legit. I liked the post, those frames of Ratliff and the rest of D-line at the snap are awesome.

    1. it’s pretty darn impressive that Ratliff is so far ahead of the rest of the D-line, but it almost looks like he is ahead of the guys who actually knew the snap count in those pics.

  2. […] game over the weekend, two Cowboys defensive linemen stood out to me.  Jay Ratliff was one, for all good reasons, and Jason Hatcher for a mix of good and […]

  3. Derf Diggy says:

    That reads like Jimmy’s doing a bad job, which it’s not…Once again I want to make it known I wasn’t attacking JimmyK. I check the site daily so he’s obviously keeping me as a reader.

    1. Steven perdue says:

      I take that back

  4. Derf Diggy says:

    I figured someone would put a comment similar to this.

    Without attacking JimmyK, as I appreciate the work he does……buttt..

    This isn’t that great of an article, it’s not something that Cowboys fans’ aren’t already aware of. It actually reads exactly like…”Haven’t put a Pro-Boys article up, let me do it real quick”, there’s not too much meat to go with the potatoes. Fact of the matter is, Jimmy hasn’t paid much attention to the rest of the NFC East sans Giants/Eagles in the past few weeks. Blame it on his other gig, blame it on his access(or lack of) to Skins/Boys training camp…but the fact of the matter is the coverage pales in comparison. Just take a gander at the depth and simply the word count of Jimmy’s Reid presser a post back. There’s a plethora of news coming out of Oxnard(well they’re back now), and tons of analysis JimmyK can do…But this is half hearted…A few screen caps don’t need 30 comments. I’ve gotten more from Jimmy’s twitter account regarding the Boys than I have from here in recent weeks.

    I literally had a comment regarding this article as soon as Jimmy put it up that said simply “Rat’s still a force, and people thinking his decline has taken place haven’t watched…although Father time is unbeaten”.

    To which I deleted because…Well it doesn’t need to be said. Cowboys fans(Or the ones that check Jimmy’s blog) already know this.

    But heyyy…you’re an Eagles fan so it fits whatever agenda you’re trying to believe.

    1. Jay Ratliff’s agent liked it, as did Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill:

      Also, there are plenty of people saying Ratliff is in decline. Here’s one from NBC DFW less than two weeks ago:

      I write a complimentary article about a great Cowboy, and get accused of some sort some of ulterior motive. Unreal. I’m almost tempted to ask if you’re attempting being a parody of an “impossible to please” commenter.

      1. DerfDiggy says:

        Yea…again, that probably read wrong. My overall point is that I believe your readers are already aware…Raf at Cowboysnation, BTB, and a few other blogs/sites have done breakdowns on Rat and his decline in recent months. I wasn’t literally saying you had some ulterior motive, again my apologies in that regard. Just that…this isn’t your best or most in depth work, and that the news and amount of hours you’ve dedicated to the Beast has leaned towards the Eagles/Giants, to which you’ve stated a couple times yourself. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, we’re all limited by the same amount of hours in the day.

        My post was simply a response to Brisulph as to why there’s probably not a lot of comments on this article. Sorry if it came off assholish…wasn’t inteded that way.

        1. Steven perdue says:


  5. brisulph says:

    Jimmy, isn’t it odd that when you put up a positive article in regards to a Cowboy player, no Cowboy hordes show up to comment? Wait, not odd… predictable.

  6. Dez Bryant's Probation Officer says:

    Theo Ratliff was never the same after the knee injury.

  7. icdogg says:

    I agree. He’s still a player.

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