Thursday, September 12, 2013
No sacks for Ware since December
By Calvin Watkins
IRVING, Texas -- DeMarcus Ware has 111 sacks in the NFL career, placing him fourth among active leaders and he's had seven consecutive seasons where he compiled double-digits in sack totals.
Yet, Ware hasn't sacked the quarterback since last December and he was shutout in the season-opener against the New York Giants. Ware has sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning (13.5) more than any other quarterback in his career.
But Sunday night, despite an interception, Ware had no sacks or tackles and the Cowboys coaches credited him with six quarterback hurries.
Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli hung a cigar taped to a piece of paper in Ware's locker and wrote a message saying, "Close but no cigar," and signed it, "Your loving coach."
"I got to figure out some way to get him to take that cigar out of my locker," Ware said.
Ware played the last month of the 2012 season with basically one arm. A bad shoulder that needed surgery in the offseason and an hyperextended elbow bothered him. Ware picked up a sack in four of the last six games.
"It feels different not having a sack," Ware said. "I had (six) pressures last game, I hit him four times, if you want to really talk about that. It's all about me getting even more pressure, getting there a bit faster. We got there, me consistently, I got to get there a little bit more."
In the 3-4 defense, Ware lined up as the right defensive end and flipped spots. This season, Ware remains the right end in the 4-3 scheme, but isn't moving around to the left side in an attempt to create mismatches. Ware took on Giants left tackle Will Beatty instead of getting an opportunity to face rookie right tackle Justin Pugh.
The projected starters for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs will be left tackle Branden Albert, a six-year veteran over right tackle, and rookie Eric Fisher, who will take on the left defensive end George Selvie.
"It really doesn't matter," Ware said of flipping end spots. "They're going to find you anyways and put somebody over there, so it's what you are comfortable doing."