FRISCO, Texas – DeMarcus Ware spends many of his retirement days coaching his son’s Little League football team.
“They’ve won almost every championship that they’ve played in,” he says proudly.
The Cowboys’ career sack leader (117.0) is also making time to stop by The Star in Frisco and mentor the club’s current defensive linemen.
It’s not an official or full-time coaching role, of course. Ware has spent time as a broadcaster since retiring from the NFL in April 2017 after 12 seasons, including the first nine with the Cowboys.
Like Hall-of-Famer Charles Haley did for Ware early in his career, Ware is happy to stop by practice when possible and share some pass-rushing wisdom with the Cowboys’ younger players.
Ware said the idea took shape when a few linemen began doing some of their training at a gym he co-owns in the Dallas area.
“They’ve been doing it for three years,” he said, “and now (it’s) having an opportunity to not go over there but come over here and teach all the guys how to rush the passer, how to stop the run, and teaching them a lot of technique work.
“But also I can get in their heads a little bit on how to be a champion and what it’s going to take to get the team to the next level.”
Ware played his final three seasons with the Denver Broncos and won a Super Bowl title in 2015. -Rob Phillips
Top Of The Line
The Cowboys boast an incredibly talented offensive line. Everyone knows that.
When breaking down the five starters along the front, though, an astute observation was brought up to La’el Collins. Dating back to their college careers – and even points of their pro careers – the Cowboys employ a lot of linemen who spent time at left tackle.
“You know, I thought about that a couple weeks ago. I was like – a lot of these guys that are a really big piece of this offensive line played left tackle,” Collins said.
Collins obviously one of those guys. He was first-team All-SEC at left tackle during his career at LSU. His neighbor at right guard, Zack Martin, was a second-team All-American at left tackle during his college career. Newcomer Connor Williams was a first-team Big 12 left tackle at Texas.
And then there’s Tyron Smith, who’s been good enough at left tackle to earn four Pro Bowl nods at the position.
“To me, usually your left tackle is your best guy. So, when you think about that, it’s like you’ve got almost four of your best guys out there on the field at all times.”
With Williams joining the mix this fall, the Cowboys will be hoping all that talent translates to a dominant effort.
“That’s awesome. I don’t know if it plays a part in us being as good as we are, but that definitely resonated with me,” Collins said. -David Helman
The competitive portions of Wednesday’s OTA were a bit lightly staffed, as the Cowboys held a number of guys out of the strenuous parts of the afternoon.
Many of the same players from previous weeks continued to sit out. Terrance Williams and Maliek Collins are still recovering from offseason injuries. Tyron Smith, DeMarcus Lawrence and Sean Lee were held out for precautionary reasons. Charles Tapper was out after suffering a concussion last week.
Taco Charlton, Leighton Vander Esch, Deonte Thompson, Cedrick Wilson, Lewis Neal, Joe Looney and Kony Ealy were all out, as well. -David Helman
In the last two OTA workouts open to the media, Blake Jarwin has caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Cooper Rush at the end of practice.
The first-year tight end has shown an ability to get downfield and separate from defenders during these voluntary workouts, and he has an opportunity for snaps in a competition with Geoff Swaim, Rico Gathers and rookie Dalton Schultz.
The Cowboys clearly like Jarwin’s potential. They signed him to the 53-man roster last October after other teams reportedly had interest in signing the undrafted rookie off their practice squad.
“I’m thankful that they did that,” Jarwin said. “I chose here in (college) free agency for a reason. I felt like I had an opportunity to grow and learn throughout the system. I was happy that they respected me enough and believed in me enough to keep me around throughout the season.”
With Jason Witten retired, the Cowboys will need at least one of their young tight ends to step up this season. -Rob Phillips