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4/24/2005

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Ware’s the Love?
by Brian Aust

Bill knew the stakes. He knew that everyone expected the Cowboys to use their position in this draft to pick up impact players. Lucky for Bill, when the draft dominoes cascaded to the Cowboys, the nameplate for every front-seven defender was left untouched.

After months of waxing it microscopic on the catalog of NFL prospects, taking special care to evaluate those that could possibly be taken with their two first-round picks, Bill couldn’t ask for an easier choice – just take the top guy.

When the NFL Commissioner introduced Demarcus Ware as the newest Cowboy, a smile invaded my face. Despite the defensive effort of an admittedly confused brain, the smile simply took over.

I enjoyed that moment for two reasons.

First, because I trust Bill. Even though I have only witnessed Ware play twice, despite his apparent lack of size and taking into consideration he came from a small school, I know the Cowboys brought in a special player. Bill had his choice and he picked Ware. That says something.

Secondly, I knew that with Shawne Merriman and Derrick Johnson left on the board at the time the Cowboys picked, Bill’s decision would bring unrest in Cowboys camps throughout the country. No one enjoys a good dust-up more than yours truly.

Given Bill’s legacy, I had a hard time believing that I would be put in a position to defend Bill’s choice. Just the same, I began blinking over ink just in case some devout Merriman-follower tried to tell me how Bill mortgaged Dallas’ future.

I had already taken in what the “experts” had to say about Ware. I needed fresh meat for the doubting jackals. I turned to them most credible source of information regarding football players – the opinions of people that know the player the best – those that coached him, those that game-planned for him, and the player himself.


“Demarcus Ware is a nobody” the stubborn Merriman-fan will likely contend. “There’s a reason he played at Troy,” Mr. Stuck-on-DJ would follow up with, showing his complete disregard for the history the Cowboys have with small school players.

Middle Tennessee State head coach Andy McCollum, in an article by the Troy Messenger’s Andy Brown, disagrees. “Defensively, this is probably the best team we have seen all year - and that includes Florida,” said McCollum said of Troy.

“Their defensive end, Demarcus Ware, is as good as there is in the country," McCollum added. "He will make a lot of money playing this game. He's a difference maker and he's a great person. He has a great attitude and great character. He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played."

Troy State head coach Larry Blakeney adds his two cents to the argument through Andy Brown and the Troy Messenger as well. “The success Demarcus has had here over his four years doesn't surprise me at all,” Blakeney said. “It doesn't surprise me because I know what kind of person Demarcus Ware is. I know how hard he works to be the player that he is.”

Blakeney adds, “There's no telling what Demarcus could do if I could get the officials to call some holding penalties and stop offensive linemen from holding him on every single play. I mean every single play! He might lead the world in sacks if I could stop that from happening.”

“Demarcus is going to be held,” Blakeney continued. “He's going to get a chip block from the running back on his way out of the backfield and he's going to get double teamed on every play, but he is still going to make plays.”

Blakeney is right about making plays. Ware was among the nation’s leaders in sacks and tackles for loss, which becomes more impressive when you figure Troy State, in its I-A infancy, traded punches with the likes of LSU, South Carolina, Missouri and Marshall in 2004.

Nearly every story on the Trojans mentions Ware in some capacity – either by detailing how extensive the “Stop Demarcus” game plan was, or by listing his game-changing highlights. Ware has spent years reading coverage of a team where he’s the only thing worth writing about, yet he hasn’t strayed from humility.

When Andy Brown of the Troy Messenger asked Ware where the credit for his success should go, Demarcus wasn’t interested in self-serving. “Really, I just have to give it all up to my teammates,” Ware said. “The other guys on the defensive line do a great job of taking on blocks and freeing me up to make plays. Without them doing what they do, I wouldn't be able to have the success I have had. I just have to thank them.”

Pardon the pun, but “Ware’s the love” Mr. Merriman-fan and Mr. Stuck-on DJ? Demarcus Ware is a catalytic, up-field playmaker that earns the respect of everyone he meets – on and off the field. He’s humble. He’s coachable. He has everything you could wish for in a Cowboy.

Most importantly, he has something that Merriman and DJ do not – the endorsement of one of the greatest coaches in history.

4 Comments:

  • At 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great piece man, you guys keep putting out some of the best fan based stuff on the net, good job all around!

     
  • At 6:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was skeptical about the Ware pick at first but your right Bill likes him. Your a good writer and its fun to read your stuff keep it coming.

     
  • At 7:30 AM, Blogger DaBoyz4Life said…

    You are absolutley right! Ware is a solid playmaker that the boys haven't had since.....uh....Charles Haley maybe? This guy will give us a competative edge, finally! Great piece of writing, keep it coming.

     
  • At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    All i shall say is we shall see. I will agree since i haven't seen him as much. I know why he didn't want DJ and i don't know why we get rid of the less physical players and then say we want Ware over SM. I know that Merriman is the more violent of the two ala Arrington he will try to destroy you. Last i remembered we drafted a DE named Ellis because the coaches said he was a stand up kid and all this other stuff the guy we passed up was named Moss!

     

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