Ware talks about the player organized workouts and how Tony Romo's leadership in organizing these has made a big difference. Ware briefly touches on Dez Bryant before talking at length about Rob Ryan and the new defense, which he describes as "3-4 slash 4-3 slash 4 ... 2-9," the only time in the interview in which Ware seems to be ringing for words. Ware also comments on the possibility of restructuring his contract to free up some money for free agent signings and is as hopeful as everybody else that the lockout will be lifted soon.
If you are one of the few people who doesn't think Ware is a Right Kind of Guy, you might want to read the transcript of what Ware talked about in the interview after the break, or listen to the full interview here. All others, enjoy hearing from one of the three Cowboys defensive team captains.
Note: This is a partial transcript that I typed up while recovering from jet lag, any errors and omissions are mine.
Galloway and Company: How much does it hurt you not having the OTAs and mini camps you're used to? How difficult has that been to not be with the coaches and how much did you get out of working out together in those player organized workouts?
DeMarcus Ware: You know, we've got a new defensive coordinator. We always have new guys coming in. We didn't get introduced to the rookies and what they do, how they're going to fit in the scheme of things. So that's going to hurt you a little bit.
You build that team unity in the OTAs because you're working out, blood, sweat and tears is what you call it, and you really build that team unity from OTAs all the way building up through training camp. But also your body too. First of all, you're doing OTAs, you're running around, you're putting stress on your body. Then you have a little mini-camp where you pump it up, you push a little bit harder. And then once training camp starts, your body is ready for it.
But now, you're going into the season, and while guys have been working out, they haven't had that sort of 1-on-1 where the cornerbacks go against the wide receivers and the quarterback's able to throw the ball and all those types of things.
We've had small OTA things that we've done, voluntarily as a team, but you're not going to go full steam because you don't want to get guys hurt because you don't have trainers out there and you don't have insurance to take care about that. So you just do what you need to do to keep yourself fresh and hopefully that won't be a burden on us.
You talk about the offseason workouts, and Andre Gurode was in the studio with us not long ago and he said that if there's one player in the entire league that this lockout may have been good for, it was Tony Romo. Because he truly had to take on a massive role in organizing all this stuff. Did you see a difference in Romo in organizing these workouts?
DeMarcus Ware: You know what, I did. [...] Nobody had to work out, nobody had to go out and do the OTAs or anything like that. But Romo took on that leadership role and said, "Guys, we need to get together. We need to do the right things, try to learn this defense and figure some things out where it's a little bit fresh on your mind before training camp."
But then getting all the offensive guys out, I call those ‘The Prima Donna Guys', to get out and catch some balls, just do things like that. And only one guy that's really taking on that role and doing that, which was Romo, it was really good. This really showed us, hey, he's really taking this seriously.
Did you call Dez when some of this stuff was going on this offseason? How did you handle that as one of the team leaders?
DeMarcus Ware: When things like that happen, you let all the media get all that stuff out and then you've got to talk to those guys one on one. I don't call anybody on the phone to tell them what they're doing wrong. I like to sit down and talk to the guys face to face about moral things and things like that. I think, on Dez, you learn from things that happen in life. He's a great guy, he's a great player and I know he learned from that and we're just moving on.
What do you make of Rob Ryan? Did you have his playbook to sort of coach up your teammates during some of these player organized workouts?
DeMarcus Ware: Before the lockout, everybody, all the defensive guys, we had meetings and made sure we got the right materials. During OTAs we went over everything that he wanted.
The main thing we got out of it is: This right here is going to be a very elaborate defense. Guys are going to have a lot of responsibilities, a lot of moving parts. And the coach that we have, he can get that done. He's been doing it for so long, he had a really aggressive defense, and he's a guy that wants to get out there and have fun. I'm ready to play for him.
How different is it from other 3-4 schemes you've played in?
DeMarcus Ware: You know what, it's like a 3-4 scheme slash 4-3 scheme slash 4 ... I mean it's like a 2-9 scheme ... There are so many intricacies in that defense, certain guys are moving around, it's not a straight up, basic 3-4 where one guy is dropping all the time, one guy is rushing all the time.
These guys are here, there, everybody has a responsibility and it switches up. And that's one thing I like. You never know who's coming and what's going on. The cover guys, they get some chances to rush too. They want to rush that quarterback and get him too and create havoc. There's just a lot of responsibilities in that defense.
The NFL Network had you as the 12th best player in the league. What did you make of that?
DeMarcus Ware: Little things like that, that's only a number. I think there are numbers out there on the field that always prove you're staying productive. It really doesn't matter if I was 94 or number 12, but your peers voting you as that, that's what you are. But that just gives you something to strive for next season, letting everybody know "Hey, I'm number one." I wasn't number one last year, so what am I going to do about it, that's how I feel about the situation.
With free agency coming up and some monster names out there, would you be willing to restructure your contract to free up some money to go get a Cullen Jenkins or a Nnamdi Asomugha, whoever it might be to get you guys to chase that ring?
DeMarcus Ware: To be honest, I would do it. But y'all can talk to my agent about that, about restructuring my contract. The thing is, if it's not taking away from my family, if it's not taking anything from the table, and it's doing whatever it can to better the team, I'm down with it.
(Laughing) You can also give me all the cash now and we'll figure out everything later.
Is this lockout ending next week? What are you hearing?
DeMarcus Ware: I hear it's going to end next week. I hope it ends next week. But if it doesn't end next week, you've got to call me, and we'll talk about how it's going to end the week after that, all right?