on the team, too. Bradie James, Zach Thomas, Greg Ellis and Ken Hamlin to name just a few. But honestly, the guy putting this defense over the top is DeMarcus Ware.
Ding, Ding. I'm a genius. I know. I say Ware is a really good player! I should win a prize.
But seriously, he's unbelievable. I've said this before and the Cleveland game confirmed it, but Ware just might be the most underrated player in the league. And that's not easy to be, considering he's a two-time Pro Bowler and made the All-Pro team last year, finishing second in the NFL with 14 sacks.
However, Ware's ability to stop the run is overlooked because of his pass-rushing skills. But it seems like every time Jamal Lewis was getting up from the pile after a two- or three-yard gain, there was Ware underneath it all. He ended the day with seven tackles, which is pretty high considering he rushes the passer on nearly every passing play, and his team won by 18 points. Cleveland was throwing the ball for most of the second half.
Ware might be the catalyst, but it's certainly more than him. This piece wasn't intended to run down the entire defense and list all the playmakers. But they've obviously got some talent and depth.
And I'm sure owner Jerry Jones would reply with something, "well, we better."
This isn't by accident. The Cowboys have made a valiant effort to stockpile the defense with players. Just count the first-round picks: Ware, Ellis, Newman, Williams, Adam Jones, Marcus Spears, Carpenter, Jenkins and Spencer. That's nine, and four are backups.
We've got three second-round picks in Tank Johnson, Hamlin and Kevin Burnett.
Hatcher is the defense's only third-round pick, while Canty, James and Henry were fourth-rounders.
Ok, so not all of them were the Cowboys' draft choices. Still, they went and traded or signed that talent from other teams.
It's there and it shows.
If the Cowboys keep winning games like they did Sunday, the defense will be overlooked. That's inevitable. Romo-to-Owens highlights will always win out. Barber's stiff-arms and Felix Jones' moves will take the cake, too. And they'll all be trumped by anything T.O. does after a touchdown.
But this Cowboys' defense will carry on. Quietly or not, the defense will carry this team just as much as the offense.
They have too much talent not to.