Tuesday, March 22, 2011
DeMarcus Ware is No. 1 pass-rusher
By Calvin Watkins
NEW ORLEANS -- It shouldn't come as a surprise, but ESPN.com's NFL bloggers ranked the best pass-rushers in the NFL and the Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware came in at No. 1.
Ware led the NFL with 15.5 sacks, but there are some other things he did well that you need to notice.
Ware led the Cowboys with 36 pressures, something coach Jason Garrett looks at when evaluating a pass-rusher. Ware also had the team lead with nine tackles for loss.
One of the things Ware is so good at is catching ball carries from behind, because so many teams run away from him. Ware is able to sneak across the line of scrimmage with his speed to overtake running backs from behind.
The Cowboys' coaches credited Ware with 64 solo tackles for the 2010 season, which was fourth on the team, pretty good for a player who gets double-teamed and who sees plays go the opposite way.
New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said he wants to move Ware around the line of scrimmage in 2011. He wants Ware to line up on the left side, then the right side and confuse the offensive line.
"I think sometimes people get too caught up in the statistics of sacks," Garrett said. "He had X number of sacks where he had a good year; he had X number of sacks so he had a bad year. That’s really not the case. There’s more to playing those pressure positions than that: if you’re pressuring the quarterback, if you’re pushing the pocket, if you’re affecting the quarterback. You could be playing equally well and not showing up on the stats sheet quite as much. Can our pressure players besides DeMarcus get better? Absolutely. Can DeMarcus get better? Absolutely, and that’s what we’ll continue to work towards."