Plays that shaped the season: No. 4

January, 14, 2014
Jan 14
12:00
PM ET
Editor's note: In this series, Jean-Jacques Taylor counts down 10 plays that shaped the Cowboys' season.
DeMarcus Ware AP Photo/James D. SmithThe season started on a positive with DeMarcus Ware intercepting Eli Manning's first pass.

Play No. 4: DeMarcus Ware's interception

Situation: First-and-10 from New York 20
Score: 0-0
Time: 15:00 left in first quarter

Taylor's Take: DeMarcus Ware had an outstanding training camp, dominating left tackle Tyron Smith daily in practice, and new defensive coaches Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli had been preaching the importance of turnovers all offseason. When Ware intercepted Eli Manning’s first pass of the season, a screen pass, it seemed like a harbinger for a great season. When the offense managed only a field goal, despite getting the ball at the New York 15, that was a bigger indication of how the season was going to turn out.

Season Impact: Ware's interception was the first of six turnovers the Cowboys forced. More importantly, they beat their division rival and ended the Giants' three-game winning streak at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys were good at forcing turnovers all season, which was the only good thing their defense did well. Ware set the tone on the season's first play, but turnovers alone weren't enough to hide all of the unit's flaws.

Quote: "Most guys would have run upfield, but he read the screen. Unbelievable. But you know, you expect stuff like that from D-Ware. He's just a freak. You know what kind of guy he is. He's a future Hall of Famer." -- Jason Hatcher
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.

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