IRVING, Texas – The injury that forced DeMarcus Ware to miss 25 percent of the Cowboys' defensive plays wasn't the stinger injury that many had thought initially.
Ware, whose previous stinger injury in his neck made him limited all week leading into the San Diego game, strained a muscle in his back early in the loss to the Chargers. He said the previous stinger problem didn't bother him.
"I needed to get out there and just keep playing," Ware said. "You get out there, you've got to play and do what you've got to do."
The defensive end began to rotate early on in the game, as Kyle Wilber and Edgar Jones got more time as pass rushers. Ware had just two combined tackles and finished without a sack. At one point, the line consisted of Wilber, Jones, Drake Nevis and David Carter.
As a result, the Cowboys couldn't get much pressure at all on Philip Rivers, who was sacked once and hit another time, but dinked and dunked his way to a 401-yard performance, completing 35-of-42 passes. Ware said the defense has to figure out a way to get off the field or get the ball back better than it did Sunday.
"It was hard," Ware said. "They converted a lot of third downs. You've got to find out some way to change."
The day didn't start nearly as bad as it ended for the Cowboys' defense. The Cowboys forced the Chargers to punt on three of their first four possessions. But after Sean Lee's interception return for a touchdown, it all started going downhill. [embedded_ad]
"You can't feel the momentum slipping," Ware said. "You've just got to figure out how to get off the field. Momentum is still there once you make that big play, but a lot of those plays that we usually make weren't made to get us off the field."
Ware wasn't able to do much, trying to stretch out on the sideline and work in where he could. He watched the Cowboys' lead slowly fade, as the team dropped to 2-2.
"That's one thing that, as a team, you can't do," Ware said. "We have to be more consistent as a team, and we have to play better. We lost a game as a whole this week."