Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
Currently fourth in the league with nine QB takedowns, Cowboys Sack King DeMarcus Ware has remained a force to be reckoned with for opposing O-Coordinators and linemen. He took a break from preparing for the Browns game to spend some time with BTB.
This week, DeMarcus teamed with Duracell to visit Lancaster (TX) High where he attended school for the day to encourage students to "trust the power within" to achieve their goals as the football team begins its state playoff run.
I was afforded the opportunity to get a few moments of DeMarcus Ware's time. Here's what he had to say on a variety of topics about himself, the linebacker corps he's a part of and the team during the 2012 season.
Blogging The Boys: Big victory for the team over Philadelphia this past Sunday. Was it a sense of relief when a defense that has been playing relatively well is able to directly affect the score of the game?
DeMarcus Ware: As a defense and the guys that are playing on defense... We haven't been having the turnovers, we haven't been having the points scored on our defense to be able to help the offense out. So just being able to do that, it was a relief but it's something that we need to be consistent in doing.
BTB: In regards to the fine line between being winning and losing on gameday, how do you manage that over the season when there's a couple plays here, a couple plays there that can change the outcome of a game.
DW: You know, you got to look at it as each game... an adverse time is gonna get you to where you need to be. Sometimes when you win, you make the plays and you gotta use that and still correct those things to get better.. and the same thing when you lose. You feel worse, but the thing is there are still gonna be positives and things you need to improve so you just got to use that to get better.
BTB: This team incurs a lot of penalties, sometimes overcoming them. There were three games when the team had 13 penalties and still won. During the week of practice, how does the team go about addressing the ones that are errors of concentration? Is it something that coaching can affect or is it on the individual players?
DW: It first starts in the meetings, before we even get out there on the field. Who and what and where with the penalties, but then you sort of practice those things with maybe the quarterback hard count or doing some press coverage or some holding penalties, or doing some things with offensive linemen... and those things get corrected in practice. But sometimes in the heat of the battle you just got to calm down and use what you do in practice to avoid those penalties.
BTB: This past week we had reports of former Cowboys greats, Roger Staubach, Jimmy Johnson weighing in on the current state of the Cowboys. Does that get to you guys with the media, the fans, the former players ragging on how the team is performing?
DW: It's sort of like you have to be that horse that's in the racing gate; you got to put those blinders on, you gotta keep on running. You can't take the positivity as something good and you can't take the negativity as something that's gonna change the outcome of how you practice. You just gotta get out there and do what you need to do, take it a week at a time and keep rolling.
BTB: This coming Sunday you have Cleveland, a game most outsiders say you should win. But the Cleveland front 5 is underrated, they're doing a great job protecting Brandon Weeden. What will you be facing?
DW: They're a good, fundamentally sound team. They've been playing really well... and every week is gonna be a battle. I know this right here is another one that we have coming up and just have to figure out how to get a win.
DW: You know what? When Sean Lee went down, it put more pressure on a lot of other guys to get out there and step it up. Me being one of those guys to communicate a little bit better. But now that linebacker corps, it's not just one guy, which was Sean Lee calling a lot of the plays...it's all four guys getting out there and putting everybody on the same page and that's what we needed. We're missing Sean Lee, a great guy that we lost, but at the end of the day you've just got to figure out how to still win.
BTB: What's it like integrating recently signed Ernie Sims, who you weren't in the trenches of training camp learning the nuances of the Rob Ryan defense?
DW: You know he's been helping out a lot. Just having the opportunity for him to come in and play; I mean he's a first round, ninth pick... he knows how to play football. Him coming in and communicating and filling that void for Sean Lee, and just having a guy to come in and not make mistakes and stay aggressive, that's what we needed.
BTB: You're now only 5.5 sacks behind Harvey Martin's unofficial career record for sacks as a Dallas Cowboy. Can you speak to what that record will mean to you, to be the greatest sack artist in the history of the franchise?
DW: When you talk about tradition and who's come through the Cowboys and how they've been winners, and just being part of that tradition... if you can get to that point where you can make your mark and put your name in the book of Cowboys history, I feel that's always an honor. Something to strive for.