DEMARCUS WARE


(RAY STUBBLEBINE/REUTERS)

How to stop him: Good question. Ware last season led the NFL with 15.5 sacks and already this season has four sacks in two games. Says Williams, “As football players, you evolve every year, and on film it looks like he’s gotten better, so it’s all new going up against him this week.” The key to at least slowing Ware down is being consistent, and guarding against letting up after fending him off on initial impact, because Ware’s second and third efforts and countermoves often win him matchups. “Just be consistent and focus on every play. Not get lazy, because he capitalizes on your mistakes real fast. Smart.”

Bottom line: Williams at times struggled in Week 1 against Jason Pierre-Paul, did better in Week 2 against Joey Porter of the Cardinals, and now comes his toughest test of the season. But Williams isn’t the only Redskin that has to brace for Ware. The Cowboys have been flip-flopping him back and forth from the left and right side, so right tackle Jammal Brown will draw the assignment of blocking him at times as well. Ware last season recorded three sacks against the Redskins (one in the first meeting, two in the second). And don’t forget Ware’s sidekick, Anthony Spencer, whom Williams and Shanahan believe is nearly as good. The 6-foot-3, 257-pounder will come from the opposite edge as Ware and through two games has two sacks and a forced fumble.