IRVING, Texas – The last time the Cowboys opened December with two consecutive losses, DeMarcus Ware responded with perhaps the most impressive performance of his potential Hall of Fame career.
Six days after leaving Cowboys Stadium on a stretcher with a neck injury, Ware racked up a pair of sacks in a road upset of the previously undefeated Saints. He forced fumbles on both sacks, including one that halted a potential game-tying drive in the final minute.
Fresh off a defensive debacle in Sunday’s loss to the Giants, the Cowboys sure could use those kind of Ware performances over the next few weeks.
“I think when you start getting into the later part of the season, the leaders need to step up even more,” Ware said. “You should progress throughout the whole season. It’s getting to the end now. You’ve got to play a little bit better.”
Truth be told, for the Cowboys to make the playoffs, they’ll probably need Ware to play a lot better than he has lately.
The perennial All-Pro has been uncharacteristically quiet in the last few games. He has only one sack and one quarterback pressure in that span, during which Minnesota’s Jared Allen has surpassed Ware for the NFL sacks lead.
Ware played hurt the last two games after suffering a stinger during the loss to the Cardinals. He sat out more snaps against the Giants than he had in any other game this season, but Ware said the stinger is no longer an issue, although the Wednesday practice report listed him as a nonparticipant.
“I didn’t play as many plays as I wanted to play last game, but it’s actually went away now,” Ware said. “I played with it the game before, but I’m fine now.”
Now the Cowboys need Ware to get back to normal.