IRVING, Texas -- Jeremy Mincey has some solid anticipation skills.
“I’m not trying to come in and replace D-Ware,” Mincey said. “You can’t replace players like that, you know what I mean? You can’t replace a player like DeMarcus Ware, but you can improvise and find guys with different gifts and different talents and see what happens.”
That’s the Cowboys plan. They gave Mincey a two-year deal worth as much as $4.5 million to be part of a defensive line rotation to replace Ware.
Ware, who was cut by the Cowboys on Tuesday and signed by the Denver Broncos on Wednesday, is the all-time leader in Cowboys’ history with 117 sacks. Mincey has 20 in his career.
“I’m trying to live up to my expectations and the organization’s expectations,” Mincey said. “I didn’t sign a deal like DeMarcus Ware’s so why would you expect me to be D-Ware? That should be out of people’s minds. DeMarcus Ware is definitely a player I do respect and always will respect to the utmost, but I’m just focused on being the best I can be for the Dallas Cowboys.”
In 2011 Mincey had eight sacks and forced four fumbles for the Jacksonville Jaguars. A year later he had three sacks and forced two fumbles in 16 starts. He played eight games for the Jaguars before he was released and ended up with the Broncos, who signed Ware to a three-year, $30 million deal a day after he was released by the Cowboys.
He had four tackles in 18 snaps in the Broncos’ Super Bowl loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Losing in the Super Bowl, “definitely fuels you, especially being that close to victory,” Mincey said. “It feels good to be on a team like Dallas where we’ve got an owner like Jerry (Jones) who will find the right pieces of the puzzle and make it work.”
Mincey hopes to be a piece to the puzzle.
“I’ll do whatever they tell me,” Mincey said. “If they feel like me playing one position and I’m best suited for it, I’ll follow my leader’s lead. I’m sure these guys will put me in a great position to make plays. That’s what I’m trying to do: find the right niche for my game to bring some energy and work ethic and leadership to Dallas.”
He knows the team’s history. He came close to a Super Bowl with Denver but fell short. Jones let him touch one of the Super Bowl trophies in his office before signing his contract.
“When I say I was the largest Cowboys’ fan, I was the largest Cowboys fan,” Mincey said. “I cried when they lost against the 49ers when Deion Sanders was dancing around. I was pissed. That stuck with me.”