Cowboys defensive player to watch: OLB DeMarcus Ware

November 21, 2012

DeMarcus Ware sacks Rex Grossman in a 2010 game against the Redskins (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

How he beats you: Ware can disrupt an offense and take over a game with his ability to get to the quarterback. He ranks fourth in the NFL this season with 10 sacks, on the heels of a 19-1/2-sack showing last season. He has reached six consecutive Pro Bowls. Redskins left tackle Trent Williams calls Ware the best pass rusher that he faces.

“He’s just the best, hands down,” Williams said this week. “I don’t think you’d get too many people that would debate that.”

Asked what makes Ware so good as a pass rusher, Williams said: “Anything that you would think that makes up a good pass rusher—defensive end, outside linebacker—he has it. And he has it to the fullest. There’s no weaknesses in his game.”

How to stop him: Williams is having what many at Redskins Park regard as a Pro Bowl season and may be developing into one of the league’s better left tackles. He has come back from his four-game suspension at the end of last season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and seems to have regained the trust of his coaches and teammates. He has played well and played through injuries. He has been a solid citizen in the locker room.

He seems to take his annual matchups with Ware as a point of pride, one of the best ways to measure himself as a player.

“Yeah, just to see how I compare against the best because when you talk about DeMarcus Ware, I mean, he’s number one, absolutely,” Williams said. “So, yeah, I like to see how I measure up to him every year.”

The Redskins undoubtedly will make dealing with Ware a major part of their offensive game plan. Some of the burden falls to rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III to use his mobility to help out in that regard. Others will be involved in the blocking mix and the Redskins likely will try to keep Ware and the other Dallas defenders off balance by blending running and passing plays. But largely, the burden of keeping Ware quiet will fall to Williams.

“You know what? I hardly ever just look forward to going against him because he’s a true definition of the word nightmare,” Williams said. “But I do like the competition that going against him brings and the rivalry between our two teams. So it’s an exciting time but it’s also very stressful.”

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mike Jones · November 21, 2012

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