- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- Earlier in the offseason, coach Jason Garrett said DeMarcus Ware needs to practice more if he wants to return to Pro Bowl form.
“I feel when I practice more or just practice in general I do play better,” Ware said. “When you’re out there, you do your reps, you’ve seen it, but there’s nothing like simulating going against full speed.”
With hamstring, quadriceps, shoulder, back and elbow injuries in 2012 and ’13, Ware felt he would be better served being stronger on game day than aggravating an injury in practice.
“My mentality is if there’s anything, I’m going to play through it,” Ware said. “If you want me to play in a game, I’m going to give all I got. What I would do in practice, the contact stuff I wouldn’t make it through it so I wouldn’t do it. Let me get a couple of run plays in here so I can see the runs, see the plays and what they do. With the pass rush, if we’ve got some stunts, I want to go through that so I got the timing right.”
Garrett believes the time off impacted Ware’s numbers. In 2012-13, Ware was on the daily injury report 57 times. He has been listed as a full participant 14 times. He has been listed as limited 22 times and as did not practice 21 times. Of the 96 practices the past two seasons in which a daily injury report was filed with the league, Ware was limited or out 43 times.
In the last two seasons Ware has recorded 17.5 sacks. In 2010-11, Ware was on the daily injury report 18 times. He was listed as a full participant twice, limited 11 times and did not practice five times. In those seasons he had 35 sacks.
"He's missed a lot of practice time over the last couple of years because of all these injuries and that's something that can impact a player, even a player of his caliber," Garrett said earlier in the offseason. "You need to practice. You need to make sure you have the skills necessary to play your best come Sunday and he's done an amazing job from a mental and physical toughness standpoint of playing in these games. We've got to get him to the point where he's healthy and he can practice and get himself ready to play the way he's capable of playing."
5hEric D. Williams