Where is Ware?
On Sunday he was dropping into pass coverage. But all season he’s been invisible. As the Cowboys enter Sunday in Washington needing to win their final two games to make the playoffs, their leaders need to drag an injury-riddled roster to the finish line.
But it’s a fair question these days: Has DeMarcus Ware lost it?
He was unblockable in training camp, poised for a Pro Bowl season as a hand-on-the-ground defensive end in Dallas’ new 4-3 scheme. And on the first defensive snap of the season he picked off Eli Manning’s screen pass.
It’s been all downhill from there.
Ware’s suffered a forgettable season. Missed three games with a thigh injury. Sued by an Addison jeweler over a $43,000 watch. And unprecedented failure on the field.
Saw Ware on the field at AT&T Stadium after Sunday’s loss to the Packers. He was playing with his kids, hoisting them on his shoulders. Bouncing around. Seemed happy.
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But his play? Nothing to smile about.
Ware was rarely double-teamed against Green Bay, but had zero impact on the game. In fact, he’s recorded just six sacks this season and two over the last eight weeks. Just two years ago he had 19.5. Production-wise, it’s his most feeble season since he was a rookie in 2005.
But when asked about his poor play last week at Valley Ranch, he bristled to reporters “What’s my name?!” in a rhetorical attempt at reminding all of us he’s an elite player with unique skills headed to the Ring of Honor. Then he went out and made one tackle in 69 snaps against the Packers.
If Ware, who will turn 32 before next season, continues his downward slide, the Cowboys will have to consider cutting him and his $16 million salary in the off-season.
Or Ware can salvage his season, save his team and remind us – with his play – who he really is.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.