The Cowboys moved DeMarcus Ware from linebacker to defensive end this offseason as part of their switch to defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s scheme, which has worked out well enough for Ware to have four sacks and 15 quarterback pressures through the first five games of the season.
He’s done that despite playing a sharply reduced number of snaps this season that he played through five games last year. In 2012, Ware was on the field for 90.9 percent of the snaps. That number has dropped to 72.1 percent this season and Ware believes that the demands of his new position are the reason why his time on the field has taken a cut.
“It’s a more strenuous job,” Ware said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “You get more work, so you get tired a lot faster. The mentality of our defense, you’re going to push yourself to the limit, and you’re going to be tired a little bit. The rotation, you have to have guys to rotate in. Guys want to stay out there, and say, ‘I want to stay out here and play,’ but guess what, don’t nobody want to get a loaf. You can put guys in there fresh and let them run fast because that’s how our defense is.”
There’s no way around the need to rotate Ware out of the game to keep him fresh, especially with a nagging issue with stingers sometimes keeping him out, even though the Cowboys don’t have the depth at defensive end that they were expecting to have this season because of Anthony Spencer’s injury. That’s going to stress a Cowboys defense that has been terrible over the last six quarters and needs to show a lot of improvement when Ware is on the field and when he’s on the bench.