DeMarcus Ware took some time out yesterday to promote the National Dairy Council and answered some questions that Foxsports‘ Brian Webber asked him. But before we go there, let's have ourselves a little DeMarcus Ware Appreciation Moment:
After the first seven games of the 2011 season, Ware had already recorded 12 sacks, a rate which put him on pace for for a 27.5 sack season that would have pulverizedleague record of 22.5 sacks set in 2001. It wasn't meant to be though, and Ware ended the season with 19.5 sacks, a figure that some found a little disappointing.
Cowboys fans have grown so accustomed to what DeMarcus Ware can do on the field that many are taking his production for granted and have little to no understanding of or appreciation for the historic level of DeMarcus Ware's performance. 2011 marked the sixth consecutive year that Ware recorded 10+ tackles in a season. Only four other NFL players have had six or more consecutive seasons of 10+ sacks since the NFL started keeping sack statistics. All four are Hall Of Famers:
- Reggie White (PHI/GB), nine consecutive seasons (85-93)
- John Randle (MIN), eight consecutive seasons (92-99)
- Bruce Smith (BUF), seven consecutive seasons (92-98)
- Lawrence Taylor (NYG), seven consecutive seasons (84-90)
After the break, read what Ware had to say about the status of the team, Mike Jenkins, closing windows and how many wins it'll take to win the NFC East.
Q: The Cowboys have completed a couple of offseason OTAs. How would you evaluate this team right now?
DeMarcus Ware: I think it’s already improved from last year, because you’ve got Brandon Carr and Claiborne coming in. But then also you had the lockout last year and you had guys not knowing how they fit. And now guys know where they fit and you’ve got all this time now to sharpen what you didn’t do well last year.
Already, right now, we’re a better team.
Q: Do you think Jenkins will be a Cowboy this fall?
DeMarcus Ware: He’d better be a Cowboys next season. We need him.
Q: Jerry Jones feels the window is closing on the Cowboys’ hopes of making a run to the Super Bowl. Do you agree with that sentiment.
DeMarcus Ware: I wouldn’t agree with it. But there’s always a sense of "Something needs to be done."
That door never closes, because each year, no matter if you’re here or not, it’s going to be open. But things start to narrow when some of your players hit 30. Players start to dwindle off a little bit.
Right now we’ve got that team, and it’s all about how you come together. It’s time to get the job done.
Q: How motivated is this team following last year’s disappointing ending?
DeMarcus Ware: I’m totally excited about this season. I’m not even thinking about last season.
I feel like we have a whole new team – it’s sort of the same guys, but with a whole new look, a whole new mentality to how you approach the season.
Like I said, we got the OTAs, we got the minicamps, training camp is going to be coming up. Guys are ready. Guys are ready right now, and ready to get the job done and ready to play.
Q: How many wins is it going to take to win the NFC East this year?
DeMarcus Ware: I think to win the NFC East … You know how weird it is, a team can be nine and [seven] and go to the playoffs, but I think it’s going to take at least eleven wins to make the playoffs in the NFC East.
You’ve got to have eleven.