Monday, September 9, 2013
Ware calms down and leads the defense
By Calvin Watkins
ARLINGTON, Texas -- All hell was about to break loose on the Dallas Cowboys' sideline.
Eli Manning connected on a 70-yard touchdown bomb to Victor Cruz and AT&T Stadium went silent. The Giants were down 13-10 with 1:50 to play in the first half Sunday night and all of a sudden the memories of previous Cowboys' losses to the Giants started to surface.
DeMarcus Ware, the pass-rusher who plays defensive end, stormed to the sidelines and the profanities started to fly.
Jay Ratliff, of all people, stopped Ware in his tracks and calmed him down.
"You know he's not a calm down guy," Ware joked when talking about the injured defensive tackle.
Ware and Ratliff didn't want to see the same old problems the Cowboys have had with this team. So Ware calmly talked to his men.
The Cowboys gathered themselves forced six turnovers, sacked Manning three times, hurried him five more and knocked down six passes in a 36-31 victory.
"We're not the same team," Ware said. "We play with a different demeanor. At the end, we knew Eli (and) how he plays, he'll come back and beat you. We're like hey, 'We can't let this happen and let him beat us.' We have to close this game that's what a defense does."
The Cowboys' defense got turnovers from Brandon Carr (interception), Barry Church (fumble recovery), Will Allen (interception), Nick Hayden (fumble recovery), George Selvie (fumble recovery) and Ware (interception) to beat the Giants.
It wasn't easy.
Manning has beaten the Cowboys many times with big plays, especially late in the game and Ware wasn't trying to continue the pain. That's why he wanted to know what happened on the ball to Cruz, who ran past Allen and won a footrace to the end zone.
"Just the mentality of, we made a mistake as a defense and just a mentality of we got to get the plays and be on our keys in certain situations," Ware said. "When it happened, we changed it like the next play. I was upset and I was letting people know you can't do that. We can't have one mishap. What if we weren't ahead? It could have been a little situation. At the end of the day, you got to take each play serious."
The closing play came from Carr.
In the fourth quarter and the Cowboys ahead, 30-24, the Giants were mounting one of their comebacks.
With the clock winding down on the game, Manning tried a screen pass toward Carr's side again and the pass bounced off running back Da'Rel Scott's hands. Carr snagged the pass and took off, 49 yards for the touchdown to give the Cowboys a 36-24 lead with 1:50 left.
AT&T Stadium went crazy.
So, yeah, all hell did break loose.
"It was a running back screen coming my way," Carr said. "Just that play, I had a vision on the quarterback and by the time he was going to throw it, I put my foot in the ground and running and it just so happened the ball was tipped up and it fell into my hands and it was off to the races. You got to get to the end zone."
Carr did and the Cowboys ended a four-game losing streak in their $1.2 billion stadium to the Giants. When the night was over, there were smiles coming from the locker room. Stephen Jones, one of the first people to emerge smiled. Ratliff smiled too, though quickly erased it when he saw reporters standing outside.
Inside, Ware may have kept smiling because he knew his man, Ratliff, saved him from going wild on the sidelines and instead go wild on the field.