When the Cowboys take on the Seahawks this week, they will be without the middle of both their offensive and defensive lines and nose tackle Jay Ratliff and center Phil Costa have been ruled out. Ratliff missed the opener as well with a high ankle sprain. In his absence, defensive end Sean Lissemore played more inside, while Josh Price-Brent got the start at nose tackle. The Cowboys played well on the defensive line and were able to hold the Giants to 17 points. Jason Hatcher had a huge game with 1 sack, 1 quarterback hit, and 4 quarterback pressures, but if he hadn’t done that, they would have missed Ratliff a lot more. Ratliff was ProFootballFocus’ 7th rated defensive tackle last year and he is expected back next week.
Costa, meanwhile, had been having back troubles throughout the preseason, but started anyway week 1. He had to leave after reinjuring his back and will not play this week. Ryan Cook, who was acquired from the Dolphins for a late round pick right before final cuts, stepped in for him last week and will get the start once again. He represents a weakness on the offensive line for the Cowboys, as do new starters Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings. Livings was awful in 2011 with the Bengals and Bernadeau is a career backup and former 7th round pick so I have no idea why the Cowboys paid him starter’s money to start for them. The Seahawks’ defensive line is stout in the middle and stout against the run, so DeMarco Murray could have a tough time establishing himself this week. The NFL’s 6th ranked run defense last year, they held Arizona to 43 yards on 20 carries in the opener.