Greg Ellis: Position Change Might Have Hurt Ware - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Greg Ellis: Position Change Might Have Hurt Ware

DeMarcus Ware moved from outside linebacker to defensive end last year



    Former Cowboys defensive end Greg Ellis believes DeMarcus Ware might have been hurt, literally and figuratively, by the move last year from 3-4 linebacker to 4-3 defensive end.

    Ellis, who played both positions, is quick to point out that defensive end takes much more of a physical toll on a player than does outside linebacker.

    “But I would say, as I said at the beginning of last season, is that there is a concern for DeMarcus playing in a 4-3 defense as that defensive end as an outside linebacker,” Ellis told ESPN Radio 103.3-FM, via the Dallas Morning News. “I had the opportunity to do both and when you’re playing outside linebacker in training camp, I couldn’t believe how my body felt, meaning it felt really good.

    “When I played defensive end, it was like, ‘Man, do I really got to go out there and do that again?’ He went from the other end of spectrum. Playing that defensive end in the 4-3, he’s dealing with a 350-pound tackle every single play. When you play outside linebacker and they run the ball away from you, you’re getting a pursuit angle. You’re not even going to get touched.”

    To be fair, Ware dealt with injury issues in 2012, when Dallas was still running the 3-4 under Rob Ryan. But he wasn’t forced to miss a game due to an injury until last year--he had gone seven seasons without missing a game before that--when he missed three with a quad injury. That injury aside, he played through a herniated disk in his back and a hyperextended elbow.

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