The Dallas Cowboys defenders read like a murders row. Every player is known, some are even famous. Ware, Spencer, Ratliff, Brooking, Newman, Jenkins, and even the ultimate scary movie sidekick – IGOR. Ware is often praised as the greatest defensive player in all of football… but is he feared? Is anyone feared on the Dallas defense?
Offensive tackles fear being embarrassed, but are quarterbacks worried about their career? A common complaint around my house is that Ware is a spectacular athlete and when he gets to the quarterback, he gives them a hug, lifts them off the ground, and gently lays them onto the grass. It sounds more like he is putting his child to bed. Where is the double leg fracture that Lawrence Taylor was infamous for? Where is the knockout blow that can ruin a team’s season?
The fact of the matter is that Ware in the last two seasons has been carried off the field more than his opponents. I don’t mean to single out Ware alone. Jenkins and Newman are good corners, but they do not inspire memories of Deion Sanders. Quarterbacks were afraid to go to Deion’s side. They feared his burst of speed and dreaded his little dance in the endzone.
The last feared Cowboys defender may have been Roy Williams. Williams could have played without arms for part of his career because he never form tackled; he lunged at the ball carrier and if he made contact, some bones were broken. More often than not, he missed, but there was mortal fear on the field. Williams also had a signature move. The horse-collar may not have been designed to break bones, but it was devastating (as Terrell Owens and Musa Smith will tesitfy).
Before Williams and Sanders the Cowboys had Randy White, the Manster. Before White there was Bob Lilly. Before Bob Lilly there was an empty field. Football is a mental game with executed choreography – on offense. On defense, players can make a career out of heart and intimidation. It has been said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” In Dallas, there is simply no one to fear.