Thursday, September 5, 2013
Will DeMarcus Ware face a rookie tackle?
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware will line up as the right defensive end against veteran Will Beatty of the New York Giants, who will man the left tackle spot.
Beatty faced Ware just once last season and wasn't charged with allowing a sack according to Pro Football Focus, which grades individual players in every game.
Ware recorded one sack and a quarterback hurry in the Oct. 28 contest won by the Giants.
An interesting thing about the upcoming matchup is Ware will not go up against rookie right tackle Justin Pugh. George Selvie will take on Pugh instead. In the 3-4 defensive scheme last season, Ware would flip from right outside linebacker to the left side, so he could take advantage of mismatches.
Will he do the same in the 4-3?
"I don't know," Ware said. "I think I will play a little on the right. I've been on the right since the preseason. They will probably leave me there."
Asked about not rushing at all from the left side, Ware laughed and said, "not really."
Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin doesn't like to move players around along the defensive line that much. If you're on the right side, stay there. Right?
"He’ll be playing right end," Kiffin said of Ware. "Yeah. For the most part yeah we (don't)."
Well, that's what he says now, but with a rookie starting at right tackle, maybe the Cowboys should take advantage of a potential mismatch. Last season Ware finished with 11.5 sacks after playing with an injured arm for the last month of the season. Ware had just 1.5 sacks in the last six weeks of the season after he recorded at least a half sack in eight consecutive weeks.
This new scheme is supposed to give Ware more one-on-one battles against tackles but he'll still get chipped by tight ends from time-to-time. Kiffin is confident the pass rush will create more turnovers, the Cowboys had 10 in the preseason, and Ware will play a huge part in that.
"I’m very comfortable, since OTAs, to me it’s very simple," Ware said. "It’s different in the 4-3, I’m playing defensive line now, not a lot of mistakes that we’re making on defense. Now, it comes to guys putting more effort on turnovers and making big plays. That’s what we need."