Jay Ratliff didn't have to officially report to training camp until Wednesday morning. But apparently, it's been a long offseason for the three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle. So much so that was eager to get to San Antonio, where he arrived Tuesday evening with a sense of readiness that he hopes his teammates share.
"I've been looking forward to it," Ratliff said as he entered the lobby of the team hotel in San Antonio. "The only thing we could've done is really make sure we're prepared to play and put ourselves in the best possible position to go after what we're going after. That's what most of us did. It's just weeding things out and going from there."
While Ratliff is far from a rookie, he will be doing some learning in this camp, trying to pick up all the nuances of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's new scheme. But that doesn't deter Ratliff's enthusiasm.
"I'm really excited to get back to work. I'm excited to work with him and I know we're all behind the eight ball so we plan on hitting the ground running and that's what we're going to do."
In the offseason, there was some talk that Ratliff might be moved to defensive end in Ryan's scheme and the Cowboys would then get a more traditional nose tackle. But both Ryan and head coach Jason Garrett seemed to prefer Ratliff inside, where it appears he will line up when things get kicked off Thursday in the Alamo City.