DeMarcus Ware reveals favorite part of Cowboys’ defensive success
There is no denying that this Dallas Cowboys defense is very special. They were special in 2021 and have somehow improved this season. Even backup QB Cooper Rush, who was at the helm for five games this season, admitted that the defense was the reason the Cowboys were winning games — and it’s true.
This squad full of veteran leaders, young stars, rookie standouts, and depth talent has even earned comparison to the Dallas Doomsday Defense of the 1970s — a group (led by ever-famous names like Bob Lilly and Chuck Howley) that helped lead the Cowboys to two Lombardi Trophies and three more Super Bowl appearances.
Here are some quick facts about the 2022 Dan Quinn-led squad:
- They lead the league with sacks (29) by five sacks
- They had five takeaways against Detroit in a single half. The last time that happened in a single half was in 1993 (Super Bowl XXVII against Buffalo)
- Their 29.0 sacks in seven games (with 5.0 against Detroit) marks the first time this franchise reached that number in the first seven games since 1987.
- So far, the Cowboys have given up only 1,296 passing yards in 2022, which is the fewest by a Dallas team through seven contests since 2003.
The point is, this defense is getting the job done up front and in the secondary. But perhaps the coolest part of this squad is something that Cowboys legend and future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware pointed out in a recent interview with Blogging the Boys — everyone is participating.
While this team does have stars, they succeed and shine because they all have something to offer.
DeMarcus Ware says the Cowboys defense is successful because “there aren’t any chiefs” who think they are better than the others
Here’s what Ware told BTB’s RJ Ochoa:
"There aren’t any chiefs. What I mean by that…there aren’t guys that think they’re stars and better than the other guy. We are a team now. Demarcus Lawrence has his Batman and Robin with Micah. And also it’s a supporting cast with the interior guys. Everybody is taking on their role for the first time and we actually are starting to see that this whole defense is coming together, and they are playing lights out and playing great."
He’s exactly right. From Micah Parsons all the way to the depth of DaRon Bland, there are several different players on the Cowboys who have put together sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles, or other types of defensive stats. There isn’t just one man doing it all. Each game we get to be excited about another lesser-known player doing things we never expected them to do (for example Dorance Armstrong and Sam Williams have both had breakout games this year.)
That doesn’t mean the stars aren’t useful. Parsons still knows how to interrupt games. Here’s what his now long-term mentor (Ware) had to say about the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year and his ability to work with the group as a team:
"Talking with Micah Parsons. He’s one of those guys where when I talk to him …he listened to every single thing that I said and I saw him take it to the field his first year. He blew up and made an identity for himself on doing what he does, and that’s being disruptive. Now, I mentor him off the field. In talking to him, he’s an even better player this year. More mature. Knows exactly what he needs to do. And he’s being effective now with DeMarcus Lawrence and the whole plethora of guys that they have. And it’s good to see all of them playing together this year."
Ware is (obviously) right. When Parsons inevitably gets double-teamed by defenses (or held, which happens often, too), the defense doesn’t crumble. There are enough great players, whether they get big-name recognition or not, to keep this defense afloat even if the top players can’t do their jobs. The breadth of talent on this defense has been special to watch and has truly allowed this Cowboys team to stay in games.