In this week's edition of the show, DeMarcus Ware touches on a wide range of topics, starting with a review of the Lions game, what that could mean for the Patriots game and what the situation is like sitting at 2-2. Along the way, Ware lets it be known that the Cowboys are still very much in postseason contention, tells us which player lifts the most weights and reveals that he has a look-alike on the team.
After the break, we have a transcript of most of what was said during the interview. DC.com put up a video of the show, which you can watch here if you are more visually inclined.
Q: A lot of Cowboys fans expect the defense to do what they do every week. The Rob Ryan influence has been phenomenal. But how do you explain 27-3 disappearing like that?
DeMarcus Ware: You can't always blame it all on the offense, you can't blame it all on the defense. I always go back to that first game: If you can't finish four whole, four full quarters, what are you going to do?
We played three quarters 27-3, and the fourth quarter you just go to kaput. So that's what I blame it on. We've got to figure out how to finish games.
Q: You guys have so many different parts on the defensive side of the ball, interchangeable guys now. It's almost like the Cowboys of the 90s where you're moving around - I see a defensive end, you're a linebacker dropping back into coverage - but the injuries! I mean, it's so hard to play every game, four quarters like you're saying, with guys that don't get to play a lot.
DW: That's what it sort of boils down to. When you think about the teams that have been winning, you can't use it as an excuse. Because when you look at the Patriots, they play with guys interchangeably all the time. So that's what this defense is about. That's what it brings to the table. It's not just a basic [set of] guys out there every single time. There are certain packages that mix guys in so they get used to playing.
So that's how we've been able to get to where we are right now. When Sensabaugh goes down, or another person goes down, they expect "Okay, well he's down, we want to just bring this package up because Sensabaugh is not on this package." So that's what actually helps us out a lot.
Q: Let me ask you this, going back to that Lions game, and then we'll leave it alone. Nobody wants to rehash all that. Stafford's in shotgun so often, and it's not easy [to get to him]. You came in there as the leader in the NFL in sacks. You weren't going to get one in that game because Stafford just [makes whooshing sound]. Not only is he back five yards from the line of scrimmage, but the ball is out so quick.
DW: We were able to get pressure on him. He was running around, but he was still able to get that ball out.
We were sitting back counting in the room where we were watching film: he was getting the ball off in 2.5 seconds. Every. Single. Play. Like a machine.
Q: He threw it away though.
DW: Oh, he threw it away. But if he had held that ball for one more little split second, one of us could have gotten there. But that's not an excuse. We've got to figure out how to get there maybe a little faster next time.
Q: How frustrating is that though? You're close. All of you guys were. But boom, then the ball is out.
DW: That frustrates you, but you've got to think about what can I do for the next game. Because that guy that's coming up this week, Tom Brady, he does the same thing.
He's all about timing, all about getting the ball out of his hands, so you've got to "put a left up" as we call it. Knocking some balls down, making some big plays and figuring out, "Hey, let's stop him with these small, intermediate routes and make him hold the ball a little bit longer."
Q: Are the players really noticing that you didn't have [a proper offseason to prepare]?
DW: You know what? I'm not even noticing that. I'm not noticing that we had a lockout or anything. I'm even more excited now because I feel way fresher. There's a big difference in your body. I don't feel like I'm beat up. I'm still in there working out, putting a lot of weights on, still lifting every single day. It feels good actually.
Q: You mention weightlifting. Give me a sense. What does DeMarcus Ware do?
DW: At the most I put like 315 on it. That's it.
Q: Who lifts the most on this team?
DW: Kenyon Coleman probably lifts the most. He'll get in there, maaan, he'll put on like five plates on there, four plates, and hell just get in there and pump it like, "Heeeyyyy ... this is what I do. Hey, I eat weights."
He's one of those guys. You know, they brought him in to stop the run, and that's what he does. He'll be jacking guys up, I mean you've seen him making big plays lots of times and he's been playing well.
Q: You notice number 99 now!
DW: YEAH! (Vigorously nods his head) Yeah.
Q: You said something earlier about things you can do as you're starting to look at Tom Brady. Because you're right, you're not going to get in there and sack him three times.
DW: No, you're not.
Q: But that jump up and tip the ball thing, I'm trying to remember. You got one pick in your career, you got Michael Vick in Atlanta, and you outran him into the end zone. Which was pretty cool - you're faster than Michael Vick. Refresh my memory, was that on a tipped ball, or how did that happen?
DW: Actually, Chris Canty had contain on that play and I dropped back. Chris Canty is so tall, he put a left up, and Vick just tried to loft it up over his head, he didn't see me and I just picked it off and it was off to the races then for a touchdown.
Q: Can you go out in this town, I mean you're DeMarcus Ware, you're a pretty famous individual. Can you go out and not get harassed?
DW: I do it all the time. I go out and people don't even notice me. I'll go in a store and I'll just walk around, shop, people don't say anything. I like it.
Q: Do they say, "Hey are you a Cowboy?" and know that it's you?
DW: No. They'll just look every once in a while. You know what they used to say? "DeMarcus is bigger! That's not DeMarcus." They say that all the time. Because on TV you look bigger with all the pads on, so when they see me it's like, "That's not DeMarcus."
Q: Who do they mistake you for?
DW: Majority of the time, it's Bradie James!
Q: The Mavericks have won an NBA championship. The Rangers got to the World Series, and we all saw the champagne in their clubhouse yesterday. Is it eating at you?
DW: It is eating at me. But it's a building process. Right now, we're building up to where we need to be. This year, this team could be the team to get us to where we need to be. We need to ... we need that ring, man. This team is about tradition, it's about winning, it's about getting that winning spirit - and we've got that right now. We're trying to get a ring this year.
Q: I said I wasn't going to go back to that game...
DW: Whatever you want to do, man.
Q: I know you guys want to learn from what happened in that game. As a team, you guys have had two shots to the solar plexus. Is that the kind of thing, as you go back to watch the film are you thinking, "Okay, this is making me stronger, because it didn't kill me," or does it get to a point where "I hate that," because it was such a tough one?
DW: You've got to get to a point where you say "I hate that", but it's so early in the season, it's not a plague on your body right now. We've got twelve more games to go, if you can win and get a good ball rolling in those games, you can still make the playoffs. And that's what it's about.
It's not about being 16-0 or 15-1. Get into the playoffs. Because the teams that make it to the playoffs, you get like a rebirth. It's weird. It's like a bye week. Once you make the playoffs, if you're hurt, "I'm not really hurt anymore now because it's the playoffs. I don't really care about my injuries now."
12 teams make it to the playoffs. Each week [into the playoffs] you're like, " Hey, I'm in the top echelon of these teams."
You know what? Let's just keep going.
Q: The Cowboys are 2-2. For some, it's where they should be, others could be 4-0, could be 0-4. But you guys look at where you are, and then you realize you haven't even had a full team on the field. Going forward, you're a quarter of the way through the season, still good things ahead.
DW: There are a lot of good things ahead. A lot of guys are hurt, and we're still playing well. Teams aren't coming in there and killing us. We've lost the last two games by seven points. Three the first game, four the second game. So it's not like we're just getting our butts beat.
We're getting beat in the fourth quarter, and we have to figure out how to close games.
Q: Ever since Garrett's been here, every game is freaking close. Four points or less. So you're going to have drama. Is that okay?
DW: Drama is fine with me as long as the "W" is on the paper.