Found July 11, 2013 on
Football and Futbol:
Ware is he?!?! That is the question offensive coordinators are constantly asking when they play the Dallas Cowboys. DeMarcus Ware is one of the most dominant linebackers to ever play the game of football. Ever since Bill Parcells drafted him in the 1st round out of Troy in 2005, Ware has been a nightmare to opposing offenses. He has a total of 111 sacks coming into his 9th season as a Dallas Cowboy and is the unspoken leader of the defense. Although Ware has high sack totals, the last couple of seasons have been down years for Ware because of the Cowboys inability to rush the passer. Many times Ware is double or even triple-teamed because of the mediocre play of fellow linebacker Anthony Spencer.
This year the Cowboys will be featuring a different look on defense. Instead of the 3-4 defense that features pass rushing linebackers and intricate blitzes, the Cowboys will be playing a 4-3 defense under the tutelage of Monte Kiffin. Ware will be moving to the line where his speed will benefit him greatly. In the 4-3, the DE’s are required to be fast and they have to get around the edge to put pressure on the quarterback. The lone NT, which would probably be Jay Ratliff, has to be a run stopper and plug up the middle. This would make work easier for Ware and Spencer on the edges.
Although the Cowboys are moving forward with their switch to the 4-3, that doesn’t mean that everything will be fine and dandy… There are some concerns that the coaching staff has about this move.
In the past, teams neutralized Ware by running right at him. The Cowboys struggled against downhill runners such as Marshawn Lynch and Alfred Morris, partly because the defensive line was unable to stop them from getting to the second level. Then, on top of that, the emergence of 3 new starting quarterbacks in the NFL has added more pressure to the Cowboy’s defense. Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, and Russell Wilson emerged onto the scene last year and revolutionized the NFL for years to come. In the past, there were a handful of dual-threat quarterbacks such as Michael Vick and Vince Young, but none of them effectively ran the read-option like Griffin, Kaepernick or Wilson. While each of them ran the read-option differently, according to their offense, the basics of it are all the same. Simply put, the quarterback becomes a weapon because he can hand the ball off to the back, or fake the handoff and run. Especially on the teams who have a solid running back, whenever the QB fakes the handoff, the linebackers more often than not bite and that opens up a plethora of options for the QB. He then has the ability to throw the deep ball (if the safeties bit also), or he can take off running. Last year against the Redskins and the Seahawks, the Cowboys struggled mightily to defend the read-option. As Ware has now moved to edge in the 4-3, much of the success or failure of the read-option depends on him. He has to make the decision whether to pursue the quarterback, or the running back. Although this is an extremely tough decision to make, I have no doubt in my mind that Ware is capable to do the job.
One downside of moving to the 4-3 is that Ware will go through a lot more wear and tear. Although he rarely misses any games, he is often playing with a banged up shoulder, neck, or arm. Because Ware will start at the line of scrimmage instead of behind the defensive lineman, he will have more head on collisions with 350 pound lineman. This concerns the coaching staff who want to keep Ware as fresh and healthy as possible at all costs. At 30 years old, there is no question about Ware’s ability to compete at a high level. However, for the Cowboys to be successful, Ware has to figure out the read-option and stay healthy.
If he is healthy, you can bet that Warever he is, he will make an impact.
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This is the second post in my ongoing series reviewing the Dallas Cowboy’s roster position by position.
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— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 10, 2013
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Fans will remember Paul Palmer from the 1989 Dallas Cowboys before they will remember several other players.
Junior Tautalatasi? Curtis Stewart? Eric Brown? Steve Hendrickson? Onzy Elam? Garry Cobb? Kevin Lilly?
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