IRVING, Texas – DeMarcus Ware might be the only Cowboys player who could look back to the two blowout losses to Philadelphia last season and say he played to his capabilities.
Ware recorded a combined six sacks in the two games against the Eagles. Facing an offensive line that's allowed the fourth-most sacks this season, including seven Monday night against the Saints, his success shouldn't diminish this year while chasing down quarterback Michael Vick.
"You've got to say, 'All right, can those hits rattle him?'" Ware said. "I feel like as a quarterback, if you get hit a certain amount of times, it does rattle you in the pocket. Sometimes you start watching the rush because you know those guys are coming. It'll make you make indecisive decisions. We always, as pass-rushers, go into the game saying you've got to get hits on the quarterback. You might not sack him, but you have to get pressure."
That wasn't a problem for him the last time he went to Philadelphia, registering four sacks and five tackles for loss. Ware said it will still be a difficult to bring down the elusive Vick, even with the Eagles' offensive line in flux after multiple injuries.
The challenge will be keeping Vick corralled in the pocket to stop him from making plays with his feet. That wasn't the problem last week against quarterback Matt Ryan, whom Ware stripped on a sack. Dallas couldn't recover the loose ball, which seems to be a trend for a Cowboys team inept at creating turnovers this year. Ware said eventually the ball will start bouncing his way, but the losses can't keep piling up while they figure out how to get the ball back.
"Right now, we're a 3-5 team," Ware said. "That's what our record tells us we are, and there's no ifs, ands or buts about it. We can play better, but we haven't been playing better in those games that we lost. We've got to sort of figure out, which I feel like we have going into this week, of how to execute, how to play a better game, and figure out how to change those Ls to Ws."
Ware, just like the rest of his teammates and coaches, didn't describe the Cowboys as desperate or panicked. But, that doesn't they're not feeling a sense urgency.
"Every game from now on is a must-win game," Ware said. "That's just the bottom line. You can't say what I did in the past; you can't say what about next week? It's right now. Every week is a right-now game."
The linebacker hasn't organized any sort of team meeting. He said everyone knows what's expected, and now's the time to push back.
"Deep down inside, do you want it or not?" Ware said. "That's what it boils down to. Do you want it? I feel like all the guys here want it, and we're going to try to show that this week."