Dallas Cowboys: Bruce Smith

OXNARD, Calif. – It’s rare for DeMarcus Ware to just take a break between practice reps.

Sean Lee joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the Cowboys' upcoming season and his role on the team.

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No. 94 will usually grab somebody – a younger defensive lineman, an offensive tackle, a quality control coach – and work on pass-rushing technique on the side. He’ll do the same thing after most practices, often with left tackle Tyron Smith. And he’ll do it again after meetings, meals and to fill pretty much any free time he has during training camp.

How often does Ware think about rushing the quarterback?

“I probably pass rush when I’m coming out of the bathroom stall, pass rush when I’m in my sleep,” Ware said, only half-kidding.

As new Dallas defensive line coach Rod Marinelli said, “I think the guy is absolutely consumed with pass rush. We’ll finish a meeting and he’ll be in the hall working with somebody alone. He loves it. He adores it. And his numbers show it, too.”

The numbers certainly do show it. Ware’s 111 sacks are the most by any player since he arrived in the league in 2005 and rank 19th on the NFL’s official all-time list.

The Cowboys credit Harvey Martin with the franchise record of 114 sacks, most of which came before it was an official stat, so Ware will likely break that mark in the first month of the season.

What about Bruce Smith’s all-time record of 200? Ware is well aware of that number. But he’s not going to pull an Adrian Peterson, who has predicted the exact date that he’ll break Emmitt Smith’s all-time rushing record.

“I never usually think about a record, because a record has a ceiling to it,” Ware said. “I always talk about a ceiling. Why not shoot to something a little higher than that and then you might end up where you need to be?”

Ware is shooting much higher than his results from last season. Playing with essentially one arm for most of the season, Ware had a down year by his standards, tying for ninth in the NFL with 11.5 sacks before undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.

A lot of pass rushers would consider 11.5 sacks a career year. Ware, whose drives comes primarily from his desire to win a title, considers it a little extra motivation to prove he is still a premier pass rusher.

“Everybody says he’s 31; he can’t still do what he needs to do,” said Ware, who celebrated his birthday on Wednesday. “But just turn the practice tape on and let that carry over into the game and proving a point to yourself day in and day out that you still can do it. The age might be going up, but the experience and the maturity, I’m still young.

“It’s not slowing down. The train is coming.”

And Ware’s training never seems to stop.

DeMarcus Ware extends sack streak

November, 19, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- DeMarcus Ware was able to extend his streak to eight games with at least a half-sack when he and Jason Hatcher combined to take down Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden in the third quarter of Sunday’s 23-20 overtime win.

Cowboys DE Marcus Spears talks about playing good defense in a do-or-die situation.

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More impressive, however, Ware has now recorded seven straight seasons with at least 10 sacks, tying him for third most in NFL history with Hall of Famers Bruce Smith and Lawrence Taylor. The only two with more consecutive 10-sack seasons are Hall of Famers John Randle (eight) and Reggie White (nine).

Ware has 109.5 sacks for his career, tying him for 18th all-time in NFL history.

Sacks were not considered an official stat until 1982, but Ware is closing in on the Cowboys’ unofficial record. Harvey Martin is the leader with 114 and Randy White recorded 111.

With sack, DeMarcus Ware will join select group

November, 8, 2012
IRVING, Texas -- With a sack Sunday at Philadelphia, DeMarcus Ware will join four Hall of Famers to have at least seven straight seasons with double-digit sacks in their careers.

Reggie White had nine straight seasons with at least 10 sacks from 1985 to '93 with Philadelphia and Green Bay. John Randle had eight straight and Lawrence Taylor and Bruce Smith had seven straight. Since 2006, Ware has had 11.5-, 14-, 20-, 11-, 15.5- and 19.5-sack seasons.

Ware is tied for second in the NFL with nine sacks, while the rest of the Cowboys' defense has seven.

The good news for both is that they are facing Michael Vick, who has been sacked 27 times thanks to a remade and porous offensive line.

Ware has sacked Vick 6.5 times in his career with six coming last year, including a four-sack effort at Philadelphia.

“I feel like as a quarterback if you get hit a certain amount of times, it does rattle you in the pocket and sometimes you start watching when those guys are coming and it will make you make some indecisive decisions,” Ware said. “So you always as a pass-rusher going into the game, you got to get hits on the quarterback. You might not sack him, but you have to get pressure and get those big hits to make him to start looking out for you.”

DeMarcus Ware isn't looking for history

November, 3, 2011
IRVING -- Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware is just 2.5 sacks away from becoming the official Cowboys franchise sack leader, surpassing Jim Jeffcoat who has 94.5 sacks.

In a way it's empty for Ware, who wants so much more out of his career.

"I don't even think about [it]," said Ware who is second in the NFL with 12 sacks in 2011. "You're going out there and playing hard and giving it your all with the opportunity that you got. Just make sure you take advantage of them, that's the way I see it. There are not too many missed opportunities because they're many years I missed a sack or I missed a play. But this year, I'm I'm not missing those plays cause I know what it feels like to miss those plays and I'm not going to miss those plays."

Ware has 92 sacks in his career and is slowly moving up the all-time lists.

Since the sack was made an official stat in 1982, Bruce Smith holds the all-time mark at 200 sacks. Of the Top 10 sack all-time sack leaders, five, Reggie White, Michael Strahan, Richard Dent, Lawrence Taylor and Smith, won titles. The remaining five, two are Hall of Famers in John Randle and Richard Dent, and Jason Taylor with his 134.5 sacks is considered one.

Yet, winning a title is important to Ware.

"I'm thinking about Seattle because we need to win this game because if we get some wins under our belt you never know where we end up at the end," Ware said. "Green Bay was 8-6 when they won the Super Bowl. If you get a little burst, things get to clicking you never know what happens."

Last week vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, Ware had a career-high four sacks.

"I didn't even know," Ware said of the sacks against the Eagles. "I'm just out there playing and at the end of the game they told me. I still feel like I didn't have a good game."
Fired Cowboys coach Wade Phillips hasn't done many interviews since Jerry Jones let him go two weeks ago.

Monday night, Phillips did a radio interview with Hall of Famer and former Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins defensive end Bruce Smith on WXTG (102.1 FM) in Virginia Beach, Va.

It was a good interview in which Phillips talked about wanting to coach again and saying just because you get fired doesn't mean you're a bad coach.

Then there's this nugget.

"You know, we went 34-22, which is pretty good," Phillips said on the Bruce Smith show. "I went out as the same winning percentage of Tom Landry, so I don’t feel bad about my head-coaching career. I think they’re gonna look at me more as a coordinator, and that’s fine with me. I just wanna coach."

Phillips did have the same winning percentage as Landry, .607, but Landry went 250-162-6 with two Super Bowl titles and a 20-16 postseason record on his mark. Landry is considered one of the great coaches in NFL history.

Phillips' overall record is 82-61 with no Super Bowl titles and a 1-5 mark in the postseason. Wade Phillips has the same number of wins as his father, Bum, who is 82-77.

The win total was tied in Texas, when the Cowboys beat the Houston Texans in Week 3 of the season, kind of fitting because Bum Phillips coached the Houston Oilers.

As for the 2010 season overall, Phillips was asked by Smith was it uncecessary to get let go.

"I don't look at things that way," he said. "Once things are done, that's history. Whatever's happened has happened and go forward. So, I can't look back at anything except I worked as hard as I could and did the best job I could and it was somebody else's decision. And I'm always going to do that. I'm going to work as hard as I can and try to do the best job I can."

That decision was Jones' who said it was a difficult call to make. Jones said he was in denial about where the franchise was headed and after a 45-7 defeat to Green Bay, felt like he had no choice but to make the move.

There were many problems with the Cowboys in Phillips' last season which hurt his ability to inspire the team.
He was asked during the middle of a five game losing streak was he losing the team and Phillips said he hoped not.

The 2010 season started off with expectations based on what happened the previous season. The Cowboys finished 11-5 and won the NFC East, the second time Phillips accomplished that. But once 2010 started, the Cowboys started 0-2 and after a win in Houston, things went back to normal when the club lost five straight games forcing Jones to fire Phillips and move Jason Garrett into a interim role.

Under Garrett the Cowboys are 2-0.

"It seems like expectations were high certainly and we lost some close games," Phillips said. "I think you remember the first year I was at Buffalo; we lost the first three games. But we came close but we didn't win in Buffalo in those games but we came back and won. I think they're going to do the same thing here. We got a lot of good players and we just lose some close games that seem like we shouldn't have lost but we did."