LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 27: Keith Brooking #51 of the Dallas Cowboys defends against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 27, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. The Cowboys defeated the Redskins 17-0. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Of the many reasons Head Coach Wade Phillips was put out by that ten-point halftime deficit in Washington last Sunday, one of the less obvious was that he was obliged to leave his defensive starters in for every play.
As Gerry Fraley at the Dallas Morning News points out, Bradie James and Keith Brooking each were on the field for each of Dallas’ 56 defensive snaps. DeMarcus Ware was on his way to the complete game as well, until a neck injury cut his effort short.
Ware is 28, James is 29 and Brooking is 34. If necessary, like last Sunday, they will play. But if at all possible, Phillips said recently, he’d like the opportunity to give some of his oh-so-important veteran defenders a few chances to rest throughout the course of the game.
“We want to rest them and make sure they can play at a high level,” Phillips said, per the DMN. “But they were playing at a high level, especially in the second half. ...I don't want [Brooking] or Bradie or DeMarcus to play every play, but if they're going good and there are no problems, I'm going to play them a lot.''
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