Earlier today, I posted Part I of my interview with DeMarcus Ware. Below is Part II. Thanks DeMarcus for talking to BTB.
BTB: Jerry Jones said that the problems on defense were what ultimately led him to pull the trigger. What's gone wrong with the defense this year?
DW: I couldn't even tell you, I know we're making a lot of mistakes, guys are giving a lot of effort but we're making mistakes. Penalties, everything, I can't pinpoint one thing because its a lot of things.
BTB: There's been a lot of talk about effort, from the fans and from Jerry Jones. Is that a valid criticism? Could this team be putting out a greater effort?
DW: I think just from me, individually, there's things I need to do more. I need to get more pressure on the quarterback, be more of a big play-maker. Also, guys have to think about their responsibilities, they got to play better. We haven't been playing up to our potential, giving up too many points, and letting people run and drive all over us, so we gotta find some way to stop that.
BTB: When you guys are watching tape of the game during the week, there's definitely a difference between the rush defense of previous years and this year, is there anything you can see that's the problem? Is it guys getting out of their gaps and assignments, or poor tackling? What do you see?
DW: I think you stop 'em a bunch of times, then you give up two big plays, it's giving up big plays in the run defense. You're playing and you're stopping them, but then all of a sudden on a 3rd and 13, like in Green Bay, we can't let the quarterback run for 27 yards. Little small things like that, that's what's been killing us, and something we have to stop.
BTB: Say Jerry Jones had made you the coach, what do you think this team needs to get turned around?
DW: On defense, me being a defensive guy, I want to blitz more. I want to call the dogs. That's just the way I feel. Offensively, just take a mentality of being aggressive, of going and get them. Not being passive, just going and playing - on both sides of the ball
BTB: You mentioned mistakes and penalties, people feel like the Cowboys are an undisciplined team, with mistakes and penalties. What do the players think? Does this get discussed among the team?
DW: We don't really talk about the discipline part, because we know what we're doing wrong, we know how to fix it. But when you're out there in the game, that's when it has to be implemented. It's not in practice, you can practice well, but play bad. So we gotta let the good practices carry over into the game.
BTB: In the first half of the season, you feel like even though they fired Wade Phillips, the coaching staff was teaching the correct things, but it just wasn't being implemented during the games?
DW: Yeah, I think that's just the way it is. Jerry Jones has made some changes, the guys have to get ready for this change, I mean right now you're at rock-bottom, the only place you can move is up. That's what we're trying to do.
BTB: Going forward, the final eight weeks of the season, it's an audition for Jason Garrett, Jerry has talked about tangible results, basically winning football games. Are you guys approaching this as just win a game at a time, see what we can get done?
DW: Just look at one game at a time, figure out what we need to change to get better. I think the sky's the limit for us now. So what are we going to do about it now?
BTB: You're looking at the Giants this week, what kind of football team do you see there, you obviously know them well? What do you need to do to get the victory?
DW: The main thing is stopping the run. We need to stop the run, we didn't do that effectively against them the last game, we have to stop the run because that's what they do best. We've been stopping the run really well in the past and that's what we have to get back to. Fundamentals, stopping the run and then, like I said earlier, when it comes time to pass rush, get ready and we got to dial-it-up on them, to make Eli beat us and bring the pressure on them.
DeMarcus Ware was promoting FedEx Office launching its annual Pack and Ship with the Pros program today. They're "hiring" NFL players to work at a Fed Ex office for a few hours, and DeMarcus did his stint today. "Instead of pass rushing, I'll be packing and shipping with the pros at FedEx Office," said Dallas linebacker DeMarcus Ware. "I'll have some fun with my fans in a new environment, while learning how to package up some of those special holiday gifts." Fed Ex is giving you the chance to win season tickets and other items, here.