I think in the middle of Romo's Pinkiegate, Roy Williams' acquistion and Pacman's suspension, we forgot somebody.
He's about to make history.
According to my calculations, he's on the verge of tying an NFL record for consecutive sacks in a game. Stretching back from the end of last year and into this year, Ware has a sack in nine consecutive games. Denver's Simon Fletcher owns the NFL record with 10 but the NFL didn't start keeping records of sacks until 1982. Ironically, Fletcher and Ware play the same position and for the same coach. Harvey Martin holds the record for the Cowboys at 11 games (1976-1977). Ware's already tied for second with legend Bruce Smith and Pro-Bowl perennial Kevin Greene for the NFL record. He's also second to Martin for the team record.
Although in several games he's gotten these sacks at the end of the fourth quarter, adding drama to the streak, the fact that he's on the cusp of history speaks to his character, his dedication to his craft and his ability as a football player. The fact that this move toward history has gone almost uncovered by the mainstream media is even more astounding.
We all know Ware is a bad dude. Real bad. But just in case you forget let's refresh our memories shall we?
- Last year he led linebackers in sacks with 14, the most tackles (84) of any top sack-specialist, and forced four fumbles. And he's 26.
Currently, Ware has 32 tackles, 6 sacks, 3 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Let's extrapolate this with Tuna Helper's Unscientific Anti-Mathematic Powers of Deduction. If we spread this out over a full season, Ware could end up with 82 tackles, 16 sacks, 7 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles. That's a monster of a year that just screams Defensive Player of the Year.
Take it away, Osi.
Umenyiora has this anecdote from early in Ware's college career at Troy, when the starter in front of him got hurt.
"The very first play they put him in, he went 50 yards and chased somebody down from the other side of the football field and caught him," Umenyiora said. "I just said 'Jesus.' That's when I knew he was going to be good."
Amazingly, Ware has amassed these sacks while opposing quarterbacks are confirming to three-step drops to avoid the pass rush. Also, coach Wade Phillips prefers to play zone as opposed to man-to-man, which allows QBs room to find holes in the zone and get rid of the ball quickly. Still Ware keeps coming up with big play after big play. He had a huge sack against the Eagles and another big sack against the Cards.
To be fair the Star-Telegram, DMN and DC.com have all ran stories about Ware's streak in the last few weeks and I understand that they don't want to duplicate their efforts. And I can understand of all weeks -- of all weeks -- this might be the week where it slips by unnoticed. All heck broke loose this week. But THIS IS THE WEEK HE MIGHT TIE THE STREAK! I mean, we get nothing?
So after each game, when Ware is getting closer and closer to this record, what is he thinking about?
Ah, sorry to disappoint you guys, but definitely not the streak.
-After the Cincinnati game he was more disappointed in the outcome than anything else.
“A win is a win, which is good, but you can't be satisfied with the way we won,” Ware said Monday of a game in which the Cowboys nearly blew a 17-point advantage. “There is a lot of stuff we need to work on, me being one of them.”
- Before the Arizona game, when second place on the NFL and club record lists when on the line, he was less than enthused.
"You know, man, I don't even think about it," Ware said of his current streak. "Seriously, I don't. It's a goal for me, to get a sack every game. But more than anything, it just shows consistency. You want to be a consistent player and if you're getting a sack every game, it means you're doing your job every week."
You certainly are, D Ware.
Don't be surprised if sometime during the game Sunday, inside the Edward Jones Dome, with the game on the line and a small lead to protect, you look at the sideline and see the players erupt.
If you didn't catch the play just look at Ware's reaction. If he stands up, lifts his arms in the air and motions with his hands, then immediately slams his hands to the turf, you'll know.
The record's been tied.
The streak is still alive.
And most likely.
The game has been saved.