[tps_title]3. Jay Ratliff, DL, 2005[/tps_title]
Though he never won a ring like the players before and after him on the list, Jay Ratliff was one of the biggest defensive stars of the Cowboys' modern era.
Dallas drafted him to play as a 3-4 defensive end and Ratliff helped in that rotation for two seasons. He mostly played as a pass-rushing specialist behind fellow rookies Chris Canty and Marcus Spears, who were drafted ahead of him.
In 2007 Ratliff was used as the starting nose tackle despite being undersized for the role. His athleticism created problems for opposing offensive lines and he emerged as a star, helping the Cowboys go 13-3. Jay earned a new contract in December as Dallas didn't want to risk losing him in free agency.
Despite playing from the nose position, Ratliff had 13.5 sacks over the next two years. He earned his first Pro Bowl trip in 2008 and would go to three more after that.
Unfortunately, the end of Jay's time with the Cowboys was a messy divorce. Ratliff had public complaints about the team's medical staff in 2013 while rehabbing from a groin injury, which led to friction with the organization. The team terminated his contract in October when Jay's agent said he wouldn't be unable to play again for almost a year.
A week later, Ratliff was medically cleared and soon signed with the Chicago Bears. He was playing again by mid November.
Now going by Jeremiah, or “Big Rat” among some Cowboys fans I know, Ratliff didn't have much success in Chicago. His three years with the Bears came with injuries, a PED suspension, and then ended when he had a rumored dispute with the general manager.
Despite the dark end to his career in Dallas, Jay Ratliff was still one of the Cowboys' brightest stars for several seasons. His four Pro Bowl trips were second-most of anyone on our list.