Dallas Cowboys: Five-star W9

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."

Seattle faces Ware here, there, everywhere

November, 3, 2011
DeMarcus Ware starts at right outside linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys.

He finishes at the quarterback.

In between, he's all over the place.

The Seattle Seahawks' left tackle, Russell Okung, will match up with Ware some of the time Sunday. Their right tackle, James Carpenter, will face Ware other times. Tight ends, running backs and even interior offensive linemen will contend with him.

Ware, who collected four of his 12 sacks in Week 8, lines up across the formation. He has six of his sacks from the left side of the defense and six from the right, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

This matchup appears particularly tough for the Seahawks. They've allowed 28 sacks, most in the league, despite already having a bye week. The Cowboys' 21 sacks on defense rank sixth among teams with seven games.

The St. Louis Rams attempted 33 passes and took only one sack at Dallas two weeks ago, but they averaged only 9.8 yards per completed pass. Ware had the one sack, plus two of the Cowboys' six quarterback hits.

Seattle has taken 20 sacks in its four road games this season, and at least four in every game but the one against Atlanta, when the Falcons had zero.

Penalties are another concern for the Seahawks' offensive line. The line has committed 19 accepted and declined penalties this season. That includes 12 in four road games and seven in three home games.

Five-star: Right side paves way to record

November, 3, 2011
Five-star question: Will DeMarcus Ware get the 2.5 sacks he needs to tie Jim Jeffcoat (94.5) for "officially" the most in franchise history?

Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware will break the club's all-time career sack record against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

The Seahawks aren't at offensive tackle with Russell Okung and James Carpenter, but Ware has played against better this season and has still managed to get sacks. I feel that will be no different this week.

At left tackle, Okung is athletic enough to stay in front of Ware -- plus he plays with some power in his punch. The right side is where Ware should be able to get his pressure. That'd be against Carpenter, the rookie from Alabama, who has some talent but he doesn’t move as well as Okung.

The Seahawks like to keep a tight end to help block when they can, and they mainly do it on Carpenter's side so there could be some rough plays to that side when he rushes. With that being said, I still feel Ware, when he does get that one-on-one match up, will be able to take advantage of the rookie, who hasn't faced the type of pass rush moves and skill that Ware brings to the table.

The key for the Cowboys this week is to build an early lead and force the Seahawks into a passing game. If the Cowboys can do that, you'll see the Seahawks struggle because rookie right guard John Moffitt will also struggle to effectively protect.
Five-star question: Will DeMarcus Ware get the 2.5 sacks he needs to tie Jim Jeffcoat (94.5) for "officially" the most in franchise history?

As bad as the Seahawks' offense has been this season, whether DeMarcus Ware gets his sacks is really much more about the Cowboys' offense.

If they can get off to a good start - what a novel concept - and force the Seahawks to play from behind and become one-dimensional, then there's no doubt Ware will get 2.5 sacks.

Or more.


It helps that Seattle has allowed 28 sacks this season, most in the NFL. The problem for Seattle is that Ware has adopted so well to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's scheme. Ryan uses him liberally on either side of the formation, and Ware has the option to change things on his own from time to time.

Add the fact that he can speed rush and power rush with equal effectiveness, and it should surprise no one that he has 12 sacks after just seven games.

That total should swell against the offensively-challenged Seahawks.

Five-star: 2.5 sacks? Expecting too much

November, 3, 2011
Five-star question: Will DeMarcus Ware get the 2.5 sacks he needs to tie Jim Jeffcoat (94.5) for officially the most in franchise history?

Rob Ryan claims that DeMarcus Ware is better than Superman, much less Lawrence Taylor, but let’s try to keep expectations realistic.

It’s a bit much to expect the man to have multiple sacks every week. So, no, he’s not likely to pull even or surpass Jim Jeffcoat on Sunday. To put the difficulty of that task in perspective, Ware has had 2.5 or more sacks in eight of 103 career games.

Granted, one of those games came against Seattle. That was a sad day in Seahawks history, as legendary left tackle Walter Jones was humiliated as he hobbled around on a bad knee in what ended up being the final game of his career.

Not that it’s impossible for Ware to beat recent first-round picks Russell Okung and James Carpenter for a few sacks. But the Seahawks’ tackles have combined to allow 7.5 sacks this season, according to Stats Inc. A Ware hat trick would be a surprise.

On another note, Jeffcoat holds the Cowboys’ record for most sacks since the NFL made it an official stat in 1982. The team recognizes Harvey Martin as its all-time leader with 114. Martin also holds the team record for sacks in a season with 23 in 1977 – half a sack more than the official league record Ware is on pace to break this season.

Just thought that Martin merited mentioned, especially during a week when one Cowboys legend from that era is getting a long overdue spot in the Ring of Honor.

Five-star: History for DeMarcus Ware

November, 3, 2011
Five-star question: Will DeMarcus Ware get the 2.5 sacks he needs to tie Jim Jeffcoat (94.5) for the most in franchise history?

On a day in which the Cowboys will induct Drew Pearson, Charles Haley and Larry Allen into the Ring of Honor, it is only fitting that DeMarcus Ware makes his run at team history to move a step closer to joining those players on the wall.

Ware is second in the NFL with 12 sacks and is coming off the first four-sack game of his career. He has had at least one sack in every game but one and sacks come in bunches for him. He has had three back-to-back games with multiple sacks, including at the start of this season.

He and Simon Fletcher hold the NFL record with at least one sack in 10 straight games.

Sunday’s foe helps the cause. Seattle has allowed a league-high 28 sacks. Tarvaris Jackson has been sacked 20 times. Charlie Whitehurst has been sacked eight. Ware has sacked 39 different quarterbacks in his career and Jackson or Tarvaris or both will make the list Sunday.

But Ware is entering a tricky part of the record book because sacks did not become an official stat in the NFL until 1982.

In the Cowboys’ media guide, they list Harvey Martin as the all-time leader in sacks with 114, followed by Randy White (111), Ed Jones (106), George Andrie (97) and Jethro Pugh (95.5). Jeffcoat, who was with the Cowboys from 1983-94, is next.

Do we ignore the players’ stats when sacks were not an official stat? Do we put an asterisk by it?

I’m not sure it really matters because Ware will end up passing them all one day soon.

Five-star: DeMarcus Ware gets record

November, 3, 2011
Five-star question: Will DeMarcus Ware get the 2.5 sacks he needs to tie Jim Jeffcoat (94.5) for the most in franchise history?

Yes, I guess Ware will get his 2.5 sacks against Seattle on Sunday to become the official sacks leader in team history. Seattle has allowed 28 sacks, second-most in the league this season so expect Ware to be pretty busy.

In his career,Ware has four career sacks against the Seattle Seahawks. And despite an athletic, elusive quarterback in Tarvaris Jackson, coming off a chest injury, Ware should get past tackles Russell Okung and James Carpenter on a consistent basis on Sunday.

However, the Cowboys don't acknowledge Jeffcoat as the leader in this area. The Cowboys list Harvey Martin as the all-time sacks leader at 114. Now the Cowboys kept the sack numbers before the NFL officially started keeping the mark.

Ware most likely will become the all-time sack leader based on the numbers the team has. Hall of Famer Randy White (111) and Too Tall Jones ( 106) rank behind Martin.

Ware can also tie the NFL record for the most sacks through the first half in league history at 14 set by Michael Strahann in 2001.

Ware is a fantastic player and regardless of which numbers you recognize, it's almost a certain he will become the all-time sacks leader in franchise history.