New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady couldn’t have praised Dallas Cowboy’s DeMarcus Ware any better when he admitted during his weekly press conference that “he’s going to be a problem all day.”
You are correct, Tom—Ware will be a problem and needs to be contained in order for the New England Patriots to beat the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Ware currently ranks fourth in the NFL with a total of five sacks and will definitely bring the heat this week as he’s well-rested with the Cowboys coming off of a bye week—and Ware is completely aware of the importance of putting pressure on No. 12:
“We have to get some pressure on him because the teams that have had success on them have been able to get pressure on him up front.”
Entering Week 6, the Patriots have done a solid job at protecting as the offensive line has only allowed eight total sacks, which is eighth best in the entire league. Their success has to contain against Ware and the Cowboys.
Brady certainly knows how effective Ware can be if you can’t stop him:
”He’s powerful, he’s fast off the edge, he’s got a bunch of different moves. It’s not like you just set on the speed-rush and he’ll speed-rush you and then he’ll power you right into the quarterback. The first play of the season he sacked [Mark] Sanchez when they were playing the Jets and kind of had an up-and-under move. If he gets going early he’s going to be a problem all day, so we’ve got to make sure we really account for him on every play.”
So how can the Patriots account for Ware? Well for starters, the protection of Brady falls right in the lap of left tackle Matt Light.
Light and the Patriots have only faced Ware once during his seven-year career and that was back in 2007, the team’s undefeated, record-breaking 16-0 season. The Patriots were able to give up only one sack against Ware as Light generally blocked Ware rather efficiently.
Now that Light is passing the prime of his career, as he’s 33 years old, the Patriots may have to game plan a few special packages that give Light some extra help in blocking Ware, whether if it’s tight end Rob Gronkowski or help from a running back.
Light cannot allow Ware’s incredible speed beat him, so he must attack him inside-out—as the inside is the quickest way to the quarterback. The more that Light rides Ware to the outside, the more Ware travels up field, which is further away from Brady.
It’s quite simple actually: If Light and the Patriots cannot contain Ware’s freakish pass-rushing abilities, then that obviously creates a great chance for the Cowboys to leave New England with a victory.
There is no question that Light vs. Ware—who’s twice led the NFL in sacks—is one of the biggest keys to victory and offensive success for the New England Patriots.