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Ware Playing Nicked Up; Good Enough To Go On Sundays
IRVING, Texas – It seemed like DeMarcus Ware would avenge his zero-sack performance a week prior after delivering a hit on Eagles quarterback Nick Foles on the first play from scrimmage Sunday.
But Ware’s shoulder and neck began to give him problems later on in that series, and the linebacker finished his second consecutive game without a sack.
“It’s always week to week,” Ware said about his injuries. “When people always tell me how my body feels, I say good enough to play on Sunday.”
With so many injured players on defense, the Cowboys can’t really afford to lose Ware or linebacker Anthony Spencer.
Ware gritted it out the rest of the day, but for the first time this season he was held without at least half a sack in back-to-back games. The linebacker still leads the Cowboys with 10 sacks this year and said in the last couple weeks he’s still affecting the quarterback.
“I haven’t been getting sacks the last two or three games, but I’ve been hitting the quarterback, getting pressure on him,” Ware said. “But I’ve got to step it up this week, get those plays, make those big plays this week to win the game.”
A lot has been made of the Bengals leading the NFL in sacks this year. Ware said he takes it personally when the opposing defense is sacking the quarterback and the Cowboys defense isn’t, but that doesn’t mean he can forget his assignments against the run.
Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of his last three games.
“The one main thing we talk about with getting sacks, we’re talking about getting pressure,” Ware said. “We’ve got to do that this week. We need to play well against the run first, and secondly against the passing game, we’ve got to stop that, too.”
Ware will see former defensive teammates this weekend in Bengals cornerbacks Terence Newman and Adam Jones and his former coordinator in Mike Zimmer. Ware said the pass defense has changed for the better this year with the additions of Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, and it should be on display Sunday.
He hopes their presence will allow him to start adding to his 10 sacks.
“Those guys really give the pass rushers up front a second chance or a little more time to get to the quarterback, especially a quick pass quarterback like Andy Dalton,” Ware said. “He’s not able to look at his first read and get off the ball. He’s got to go to his second and third read, and that gives us a little more time to get there.”