For the first time in his NFL career on Thursday, DeMarcus Ware was named a captain.
Head Coach Wade Phillips trimmed the number of captains from eight to five this season, with two on offense, two on defense, and a rotating special teams representative, who will be decided upon based on the previous week's game.
Ware was voted to the role for the first time by his peers, joining Bradie James, Jason Witten and Tony Romo as a captain. Matt McBriar will begin the season as special teams captain.
Ware's selection is, if anything, a sign of the times in Dallas. Gone are trusted leaders, Greg Ellis and Keith Davis, whose departure left a void that will be filled by Ware, among others. The 3-time Pro Bowler has always led by example on the field; now, coaches want Ware to equal his prowess on the turf with leadership in the locker room.
"Just in general, you sort of get molded into a leader," Ware said. "You always have the aspects but sometimes the leadership comes with time. I feel like that's how it became."
Phillips said that he'll look to Ware to lead more by actions than words, something he's done dutifully over his career with Dallas.
"Besides being a great player, I think we know DeMarcus is a great person and I think everybody recognizes that," added Phillips. "I don't think DeMarcus is going to be as demonstrative as some of them, but by his actions certainly and the way he works he's a great example."