Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware dropped by the NFL Network set at the Pro Bowl late last week to discuss the state of the Cowboys defense, saying he believed things would improve with time under coordinator Rob Ryan.
Ware had 19.5 sacks in 2011. He and nose tackle Jay Ratliff were the only Cowboys players in Sunday's all-star game.
"It was a little bit simpler with Wade (Phillips)," Ware said. "He relies a lot on the pass rush. With Rob Ryan, I'm going to say he's more pass coverage - cover twos and fours - he has a lot of diverse things that he always brings. Like, he'll have Jay dropping, me rushing, guys mixing it up, a sort of disguise, and that was a big difference."
That complexity might've been a difficult adjustment for the Cowboys in 2011, but Ware believes it should get squared away with a full offseason of work, something the players didn't have under Ryan last year because of the NFL lockout.
"I think it's going to be a big improvement having Rob Ryan for a whole another camp and a whole another year, knowing his system, knowing really what's going on," Ware said. "Having Jason Garrett, the leader, that motivational guy for us, I think it's going to all just pan out next season."
Ware said the Cowboys' lack of comfort in Ryan's scheme showed when the defense had to deal with injuries. New players coming into the game occasionally had trouble communicating with their teammates.
"If one guy is off on our defense, the whole defense goes kaput," Ware said. "So you've got to have everybody on the same page."