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DeMarcus Ware: How Do You Manage The Injuries?

At this point in his career, it is time for the Cowboys to start thinking about how they can manage their All-Pro pass rusher's injury situation in order to maximize his contribution later in the season.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The injuries suffered by members of the Dallas Cowboys defensive line have been very well documented both here at BTB and throughout the DFW and national media outlets. The "No-Name" group of backups and street free agents playing major roles on Rod Marinelli’s "Rush Men" unit have had spurts of success, but as should be expected, have battled inconsistency.

This is exactly why, from my perspective, it’s time for the Cowboys to think long-term when they consider bringing DeMarcus Ware back from his quad injury. The schedule for the Cowboys looks like this for the rest of the year.

  • Week 9: @ Minnesota

  • Week 10: @ New Orleans

  • Week 11: Bye

  • Week 12: @ New York Giants

  • Week 13: Oakland (Thursday Night)

  • Week 14: @ Chicago (Monday Night)

  • Week 15: Green Bay

  • Week 16: @ Washington

  • Week 17: Philadelphia

From my perspective three of the next four games look very winnable. Although the Giants are playing better (thank goodness, the last thing we need is to have to face Clowney & JPP twice a yr), and Terrell Pryor is playing respectable, if Jason Garrett’s team is going to go anywhere this year, they will have to win that Thanksgiving Game. However, the last four games look very tough. So here’s my take on what to do with Ware, and why the schedule lines up well for them to manage the situation.

I am going to sit Ware vs Minnesota, I don’t care how healthy he seems, or how much he pleads to get on the field, I’m resting him one more week. That puts me in position to truly manage him for the next month or so, giving him plenty of time to prepare and recover from the action he sees, to prep for a 4-8 week long run (hopefully deep into the playoffs).

Once he rests vs Minnesota, I’m playing him at the Saints, the defense needs all hands on deck for that game, and to avoid watching Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, & company hang 700 yds on this team, I’m putting Ware back in the lineup. After sitting out the first three games of his career, he will be chomping at the bit, and should feel fresh after almost a month without game speed contact, setting him up for success against Sean Payton’s group.

Then you got the bye week to give him a full two weeks to recover and prep for the Giants, we all know how much he loves sacking Eli Manning, so he should be ready to go for that one as well, especially with an extra week. Then I’m sitting him against Oakland, essentially I’m giving him another bye, let the young guys go at the Raiders pretty bad O Line, and get your stud ready for the stretch run.

Resting D-Ware on Thanksgiving, gives him a full 15 days to prepare for the stretch run, starting with the Bears on Monday Night Football. Then you got him essentially starting the season fresh in week 14, which should help him finish strong. Ideally you have the division wrapped up after beating playing the Redskins in Week 16 and you have the chance to rest him again in Week 17 at home against the Eagles.

If you ask me, this is the path to maximum D-Ware destruction in the stretch run and playoffs and the defense’s best chance to succeed during the part of the year when they will need to make big plays. If Jason Garrett, Monte Kiffin, and Rod Marinelli are smart, they are thinking long-term like this as well, and they’ll get the most out of their banged up defensive stud.

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