Dallas Cowboys: Reggie White

John Madden: Larry Allen did 'everything'

July, 31, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. – As he sat with opposing players before they had to play against Larry Allen, John Madden could notice the dread.

“You didn’t sleep easy the night before, hoping you get to play against Larry Allen,” Madden said. “They knew it. There’s no pro football player that has a fear of another guy that plays on that level, but he was so doggone strong and there wasn’t much you could do against him.”

Allen will be the 14th Cowboy inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, and Madden, a Hall of Famer himself, can’t wait to see him in Canton, Ohio. He shares northern California ties with Allen and got to know him over the years.

Madden remembers Joe Greene praising Allen, even if Greene never played against him. He recalls the respect Reggie White had for Allen. And he remembers the words coaches like Mike Holmgren and George Seifert had for Allen.

Even Allen’s teammates were amazed at what he could do.

“When Nate Newton played he came in at 300 pounds, and that was a number that you didn’t want to exceed,” Madden said. “I remember those days because I coached and those 300-pound guys would be 299, and Nate always fought his weight. He said he always had to be under 300 pounds and he said, ‘Then this Larry Allen comes in and he weighs 330 pounds and they’re all bragging about it. They never let me weigh 330 pounds, and then we got this guy and I saw him and he was a different 330 pounds than I (had) ever seen.’”

What made Allen so great?

“He had everything,” Madden said. “That was the thing he had. He had strength and knew how to use it. There are a lot of guys that have strength and power and don’t use it. There are other guys that don’t have it and go and get beat. He was the type of guy that could use it at the line of scrimmage and use that in space. He could pull and get at defensive back downfield and he could block at the point of attack and pass protect. That’s what makes a great player. You don’t say he had one thing. He had everything.”

Allen made offensive line play cool, and few were cooler or better than Allen, according to Madden.

“He has to rank right up there at the top,” Madden said. “I think you have to go by the ones you’ve seen, and I’ve always put John Hanna up there as that guy. I had Gene Upshaw and he’s a Hall of Fame guard, and I put Larry Allen right there with that group. There was never a question with me whether or not he was a Hall of Famer. He’s one of the all-time great NFL players at his position, and you could make an argument that he’s the best, but you’d have to wrestle some other guys for it.”

Consistency key for DeMarcus Ware

July, 16, 2013
SOUTHLAKE, Texas – DeMarcus Ware grew up wearing Reebok sneakers and was fond of the old Pumps. Now, years later, the Cowboys defensive end is a spokesman for the shoe company and is championing Reebok’s new ATV19 shoe.

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On Tuesday, Ware went through a 90-minute workout at Impact Performance and Fitness in Southlake in his “all-terrain” shoes and a commercial featuring Ware and Rampage Jackson started airing last week.

“I preach consistency when I play football, and that’s how they’ve been year and in year out,” Ware said. “That’s why I like them.”

Ware has been ultra-consistent.

He has had seven straight seasons with at least 10 sacks. Only Reggie White (nine) and John Randle (eight) have more in NFL history. He is the Cowboys’ official sack leader with 111 in his career, but needs four to break Harvey Martin’s unofficial record.

Ware turns 31 on July 31 and is moving from outside linebacker to defensive end as the Cowboys shift to the 4-3 in 2013.

“I think it’s another challenge of being effective at a totally different position,” Ware said. “They say an outside linebacker is a defensive end just standing up, but it’s not the same because you’ve got different ways the offense wants to sort of attack you. It’s a little simpler now. It’s more man on man, that brute football. It’s not, I’m going to trick the guy and move the guy around to get a matchup. It’s my tackle against your defensive end or my linebacker against your running back. We know who’s blocking who and it’s up to who wants it most.”

IRVING, Texas – Among the reasons why Brian Urlacher decided to retire was the fact that he could say he played for the Chicago Bears and for the Chicago Bears only.

In this salary-cap age, that is a difficult thing to do. Emmitt Smith's playing career ended in Arizona. Jerry Rice's ended in Seattle.

Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin were able to be “one jersey” players, in part because of injuries. Aikman wrestled with the idea of returning not long after he stepped away but decided against it.

Jason Witten and Tony Romo are entering their 11th seasons with the Cowboys. Romo, who just turned 33, is signed through 2019. Witten is signed through 2017. So is DeMarcus Ware, who is entering his ninth season.

Of the long-term players on the Cowboys’ roster, these guys figure to be the “one jersey” types.

Witten is already the franchise’s all-time receptions leader. Only Bob Lilly, Larry Allen, Mel Renfro and Randy White have played in more Pro Bowls as Cowboys than Witten, who has eight. He is coming off a 110-catch season, the most in NFL history by a tight end. He turned 31 earlier this month.

Romo is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in touchdown passes and could surpass Aikman in passing yards in 2015. He has more 100-plus passer rating games in his career than Aikman. Romo’s 55 multi-touchdown pass games are the most in team history. His four four-touchdown games are second-most in history to Danny White.

Ware is the franchise’s official all-time sack leader with 111 for his career and needs four this season to break Harvey Martin’s unofficial sack record. He has had seven straight seasons with at least 10 sacks, and only Reggie White (nine) and John Randle (eight) have more since sacks became an official stat in 1982.

If the Cowboys win a Super Bowl in the next few years, then the chances of these guys playing for another team in the future would be slim.

If the Cowboys don’t win a Super Bowl and they become salary-cap casualties later, do they chase a championship and not play for the Cowboys and the Cowboys only?

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.

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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 sacks century mark

September, 6, 2012
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- All summer, outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware kept thinking about the Cowboys' opener against the New York Giants and setting the tone for the season.


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It was hard for Ware to forget about what happened last season. A two-game sweep at the hands of the Giants sent shivers across Cowboy Nation. Ware, one of the faces of the franchise, took the losses personally.

Which is why he had a business-like approach when he arrived at MetLife Stadium on Wednesday night and a big smile when he left. Ware had two sacks, five tackles and two tackles for loss in the Cowboys' victory.

Ware's sack in the second quarter made him the 28th player in NFL history to surpass the 100-sack mark. Ware did in in 113 games, the second fastest in league history behind only Reggie White, who did it in 96 games.

"I always talk about consistency," Ware said. "Since my rookie season. Being able to try and do the same things every year and get pressure on the quarterback and being in the midst of being named with a guy like Reggie White ... Just to have that opportuntiy is a great honor."

Ware, who now has 101.5 sacks, knew he needed to take over the Cowboys-Giants game Wednesday night. It wasn't anything against his teammates, but Ware was tired of losing to the Giants and not finishing games.

Ware sacked Manning on a first-down play in the second quarter for a 15-yard loss. His second sack came with less than a minute to play in the half and forced a third-and-long situation.

It's those types of plays that the Cowboys need from Ware, especially in the fourth quarter of games.

Ware said he implored his teammates to finish strong from a defensive standpoint because the Giants have rallied to beat the Cowboys in previous games.

"When it's the fourth quarter and when you're out there and time to get pressure, you have to put the dagger down and be able to close the offense out as a whole, and that's what we were trying to do," Ware said. "That's what we did. It's like, (Eli Manning) has three or four or five minutes left and they got three timeouts. They can still come back and win the game because they've done that before. So can we close the game out? We were just talking about that the whole time (on the sidelines). We were talking about that."

DeMarcus Ware could make history

December, 29, 2011
IRVING, Texas -- DeMarcus Ware needs two sacks Sunday against the New York Giants to make history, even if would come with an asterisk.

With 18 sacks entering the game, Ware needs two to become the first player to record two 20-sack seasons since it became an official stat in 1982 (hence the asterisk). Ware had 20 sacks in 2008.

Former New York Giants defender Michael Strahan holds the record with 22.5 in 2001. The only other players with 20-sack seasons are: Mark Gastineau (22 in 1984), Chris Doleman (21 in 1989), Reggie White (21 in 1987), Lawrence Taylor (20.5 in 1986) and Derrick Thomas (20 in 1990).

“It would mean a lot, especially me being a pressure guy, being able to get pressure on the quarterback,” Ware said. “If I’m able to get 20 sacks, it’s a big accomplishment. All the guys who came before me who I looked up to, they haven’t been able to do it. Me coming in and having the opportunity to do it, it really just means a lot.”

Ware has sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning more than any quarterback in his career with nine.

The Cowboys are 12-8 in games in which Ware has had at least two sacks. One problem: they are 1-4 in those games this year.

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."
ARLINGTON, Texas – It was a terrible time for Tyron Smith to give up a sack for the first time in his NFL career.

It came with 35 seconds remaining and a desperate Dallas team, needing a touchdown to win, driving at the Lions’ 45-yard line. With no timeouts remaining, the sack by Detroit’s Willie Young killed the Cowboys’ slim chances of pulling off a comeback after blowing a 24-point lead.

You might be wondering who the heck is Willie Young. Well, he was a seventh-round pick in 2010 who didn’t have a career sack until he ran over the Cowboys’ first-round pick en route to Tony Romo.

Smith ended up flat on his back 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The 251-pound Young’s punch to the 307-pound Smith’s right shoulder sent the right tackle stumbling backwards. Young crashed to the ground near Romo’s feet, powerless to prevent Young from taking Romo to the turf.

How did a backup defensive end look like Reggie White against the Cowboys’ prized rookie with the game on the line? Smith offered no explanation of the play, refusing to take questions from reporters.