ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 13: Linebacker DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys is taken off the field after a neck sprain against the San Diego Chargers at Cowboys Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The good news is that DeMarcus Ware left the hospital on Sunday night and, as of this morning, was resting at home following a scary incident in Sunday's 20-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers. Later called a sprained neck, which was the diagnosis announced over the public address speaker during the fourth quarter, Ware spent around ten minutes on the turf at Cowboys Stadium.
One can't help but imagine it could have been a lot worse.
The bad news, and there seems to be a lot of it in Dallas every year about this time, is that Ware will likely miss at least one game--the next game, of course, comes against the New Orleans Saints, with the unblemished record, all-world quarterback and deadly corps of receivers.
Considering it took just two plays for Philip Rivers and co. to dice Dallas's defense for six after Ware went down on Sunday, this doesn't augur well for the Cowboys. Saying something like, "The Cowboys don't have a snowball's chance in hell next week," would be short-sighted and unprofessional for a lack of objectivity... On the other hand, they may need an early Christmas miracle.
Ware has never missed a game due to injury. He will likely be replaced by Victor Butler, who stepped in for the All-Pro after the injury on Sunday. Butler has played well in limited time this season, with 16 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble to his name. That said, he's no DeMarcus Ware.
Dallas will miss the usual excess of attention paid no. 94 in the Superdome, as they try to accomplish what no other team has in 2009.
UPDATE: Wade Phillips said in his Monday press conference that Ware is "a lot better" and classified him as day-to-day with the injury, meaning the linebacker has not yet been ruled out for Saturday night.