complements for the Wittens and the Wares.
I almost hate to bring up the Dallas Mavericks, because they have been used a few times as a parallel already, an example of how the Cowboys can win as a team. But I do disagree with the analogy a bit. Yeah, the Mavs got nice performances from guys like Tyson Chandler, Jason Terry and J.J. Barea. They all raised their game. But they don't beat the Miami Heat without their superstar playing lights out. Dirk Nowitzki played the best basketball of his life during that playoff run, and it was his excellence that brought out the best in his teammates.
That's what really has to happen for the Cowboys to return to some level of prominence this season and going forward. But how do you ask a DeMarcus Ware to simply be better when he's already the best? There's not an easy answer. Gotta learn another move, or gain a few more pounds of muscle or improve his hands, or something. He just has to better, and at the right times.
As unstoppable as he has been these last six years - and as well as Witten, Gurode, Austin, Romo and Ratliff have all played - they must find a way take their games to another level. Otherwise, they'll simply be remembered as very good players with nice stats who, in the end, couldn't get it done. It will be as if their accomplishments have occurred in a vacuum. What did Romo get out of all those passing yards? What did all of Ratliff's tackles for loss add up to?
Ware might've been joking, or maybe not, when he said he should've been No. 1 on the list. He's got that kind of talent. But to get the respect he deserves, he's going to have to somehow get more out of himself.
It's a hell of compliment to think he could be any better. But he can, and he must.