NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19: Linebacker DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with defensive ends Jay Ratliff (R) #90 and Stephen Bowen (L) #72 after a sack against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
The NFL's All-Pro Teams were announced today, with two Cowboys defenders getting the nod. DeMarcus Ware made the team for the fourth time in his career; Jay Ratliff made it for the first time, after several years of playing at a high level, though relatively under the radar. At any rate, both seem fairly obvious choices.
Ware, who has struggled with minor injuries all season, piled up 93 tackles, 11 sacks and five forced fumbles during the regular season. He opened his postseason career with two sacks and a forced fumble against Philadelphia, not surprising, as Ware seems to save his best performances for crucial games.
Many see his dramatic return against New Orleans--a game in which he had two strip-sacks of Drew Brees--as a turning point in the season. Indeed, since that game, the Cowboys have yet to lose.
As a nose tackle, Ratliff's effectiveness can be seen less in statistics and more in practice, creating pandemonium in opposing backfields. Then again, his numbers aren't too shabby either, especially when taking position into account.
Ratliff had 83 tackles, seven sacks, eight tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick in the regular season.
Center Andre Gurode was named to the Second-Team.