Saturday, August 11, 2012
DeMarcus Ware still working to improve
By Calvin Watkins
OXNARD, Calif. -- Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware is a six-time Pro Bowler, has compiled a club-record 23 multiple-sack games, has posted double-digit sack numbers the last six seasons and is considered one of the most dangerous defensive players in the NFL.
Yet Ware still wants to learn.
He wants to last a long time in a young man's game.
The 30-year-old Ware talks to 25-year-old backup linebacker Victor Butler about pass-rush moves.
"Sometimes you can't go in a situation thinking that you know it all," Ware said. "Those guys come in and they have some different type moves, and that's what I try to steal from them. If you stay young, you stay in this league a long time. And Victor shows me a lot of things and it helps me out a lot and vice versa."
Ware, who dealt with neck problems the last few seasons, returned to yoga classes weekly at Valley Ranch to gain more flexibility.
He listened to assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett on improving his pass-rush abilities and maintaining his health.
"You want to maintain your body," said Lett, who played for the Cowboys from 1991 to 2000. "If you're a guy who is heavy you have to make sure you don't gain that weight. Some of the guys, like Kenyon Coleman, he gets up every morning and does yoga. He's probably more flexible now than he was as a young player."
There are all sorts of criticisms surrounding Ware. He supposedly doesn't get enough fourth-quarter sacks. He doesn't get enough third-down sacks. He's not dangerous enough.
Since 2005, Ware has 99.5 sacks, most in the NFL in that span. Twenty-six of those came in the fourth quarter, a half-sack more than his first-quarter total.
Third down? Ware has 36 sacks on third down, more than in any other situation.
Dangerous enough? He's got eight sacks in the defensive red zone.
What does Jason Garrett think about his most dangerous player? "He wants to be great," the Cowboys' coach says.