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BeWare Of The DeMarcus Ware Hype Train

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - BeWare Of The DeMarcus Ware Hype Train 2

I can already feel you yelling at me based off of the title. Relax.

DeMarcus Ware was a great member of the Dallas Cowboys right up until the end when things just weren't working out. It was rough for Cowboys Nation loyalists to see D-Ware leave, but that's the business side of football and considering what Ware did five days ago I think he's good.

Cowboys Blog - BeWare Of the DeMarcus Ware Hype Train

Where DeMarcus might not be good is in fiscal books of the Denver Broncos and their 2016 season. 'Ol #94 has a $11,666,668 Cap Number (per OverTheCap.com) for the 2016 season. That's a lot of pennies to pay someone considering that the Broncos have a ton of free agency decisions to make this offseason - like re-signing Super Bowl 50 MVP, Von Miller.

All of this is pretty common sense so people are starting to connect the dots (sidebar: Dots are one of the worst candies out there) and some hypotheticals where Ware returns back home to Dallas have been tossed out.

D-Ware is coming off of one of the finer months that he's ever had in his career. His performance in the Playoffs is a big reason why every hand inside the Denver Broncos organization got that much heavier last Sunday evening out in Santa Clara. Naturally, if he is to become available, some people want him back.

People... stop it.

DeMarcus is one of the finer Dallas Cowboys to have played over the last 20 years (a period I recently, and sadly, examined on a deep level). He will also be 34 years old when the 2016 season kicks off. That's really young in terms of the schemes of life, but that's not the case in the National Football League.

Ware dominated the Super Bowl, but let's look at a larger sample size. Here are his numbers in terms of sacks and tackles (that's what you pay pass rushers to get) over the last three regular seasons, a 48-game span:


DeMarcus Ware (33 years) 2013 2014 2015 Avg
Sacks 6 10 7.5 7.8
Tackles 28 37 17 27.3

Ware has only played in 40 of these games, averaging .59 sacks/game and 2.05 tackles/game. Let's see how he compares to to some other potential pass rushers that the Dallas Cowboys could bring in over the same span.

All of these numbers are pulled from Pro Football Reference. If you are unfamiliar with their Approximate Value (AV) metric, it is an attempt to put a single numerical value on a player's season. The greater the number, the greater that particular season for that player. Ware's 2013-2015 are the three lowest Approximate Values of his career excluding his rookie season.


Greg Hardy (27 years) 2013 2014 2015 Avg
Sacks 15 1 6 7.3
Tackles 40 3 23 22

Re-signing Greg Hardy is an option that the Cowboys have this offseason. Consider that Hardy is averaging just a half sack per year less than Ware over the last three seasons despite only playing one game in 2014. Hardy played in 29 games over this stretch (out of a possible 29, so he hasn't missed any due to injury) and posted Ware-like numbers over the same sample. Factor in that Hardy is six years younger and you have to start thinking, don't you?

Hardy's AV for 2013 was the highest of his career and 2015 (which some would say was disappointing for him) matches his second best. 2014 is an obvious outlier given that he only played one game.


Olivier Vernon (25 years) 2013 2014 2015 Avg
Sacks 11.5 6.5 7.5 8.5
Tackles 46 32 41 39.7

Now Olivier is likely going to command a nice chunk of change in free agency, and there's a reason that he should. While he might be more expensive than someone else, when you consider his youth you have to wonder if he's worth it. One of the bigger pieces of data that isn't stated above is that Vernon played all 48 of these games, so he's a pretty consistently healthy player.

It shouldn't be shocking that these three seasons are the three best Approximate Values of Olivier's four-year career.


Mario Williams (31 years) 2013 2014 2015 Avg
Sacks 13 14.5 5 10.8
Tackles 28 36 15 26.3

Super Mario has only missed one game over these last three seasons, and he averages the most sacks per season. He had a down year in 2015 despite having Rex Ryan as a Head Coach, and while Rex is really dysfunctional in a lot of ways he definitely knows how to build a defense and rush the quarterback. Nevertheless, Mario merits some serious consideration given his resume over this span.

Mario's 2013 was at the time the best AV of his career until he topped it in 2014. His down 2015 is tied for the sixth best of his career.


So let's look at all four of these players in terms of their averages over the last three seasons against one another:

Scks/Season Tckls/Season Elig. Gms Missed
DeMarcus Ware 7.8 27.3 8
Greg Hardy 7.3 22 0
Olivier Vernon 8.5 39.7 0
Mario Williams 10.8 26.3 1

First of all, when looking at Greg Hardy's numbers remember that his 2014 season (where he only played in one game) is actually factored into these measurements. Even then, he's still narrowly behind Ware in terms of his averages per season. Olivier and Mario are clearly a cut above the rest when it comes to sacks/season, but the biggest number that jumps out to me is the 8 for Ware.

Of the 48 possible games he has missed 8 - that's 17%. Neither Hardy nor Vernon have missed a game where they were eligible to play, and Mario has only missed one (2%). So not only is Ware the oldest player, not only is Ware the one who barely averages more sacks and tackles per season than Hardy despite Hardy's absence in 2014, but Ware is also the most likely to miss time during the season... 17% of the time to be specific.

I get that DeMarcus Ware has a history in Dallas and that it would be really cool for him to come home and teach the young guys, I get it. It's a nice story.

Cowboys Blog - BeWare Of The DeMarcus Ware Hype Train 1

But haven't we moved on from chasing stories? Wasn't that the whole point of not re-signing DeMarcus two years ago? It seems that we are allowing ourselves to be prisoners of the moment and ignore some indisputable facts.

The current regime of the Dallas Cowboys has made a commitment to building teams the right way - the smart way. If DeMarcus Ware is willing to sign for a lower amount of money then of course we should listen, but do you really think the guy who was 50% of the reason why his team just won the Super Bowl is about to reduce himself in any capacity? Would you?

It would be a great story if Ware came back to Dallas and we could put the whole thing together, but that's not who we are anymore. We're no longer the story chasers, we're the Championship Chasers. Let's remember that.


RJ Ochoa on Twitter's Periscope TV

What do you think after seeing all of this? If you could have one of these guys, who would you want? Let me know! Comment below, Email me at Roel.Ochoa.Jr@Gmail.com, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "BeWare Of The DeMarcus Ware Hype Train" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

Star Blog

Was Sunday A “Wake Up Call,” Or Were Cowboys Exposed?

Kevin Brady

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Was Sunday A "Wake Up Call," Or A Flashback To Reality?

Entering last Sunday's game in Indianapolis, the Dallas Cowboys were riding high. Having won five straight games, including key victories over the top seeded Saints and division rival Eagles, everything seemed to be breaking right for the Cowboys heading into the home stretch.

Their defense was playing like one of the best in football, and after firing Paul Alexander and trading for Amari Cooper their offense was clicking just as they'd hoped. They needed (and still need) just one win to officially close out the division and clinch a home playoff game in January.

Instead, the Cowboys got absolutely demolished by the Indianapolis Colts. Of course, there's no shame in losing a road game to an 8-6 team in the NFL, but the way in which they lost certainly deserves some shame. Not even the 23-0 score can encapsulate the complete butt-kicking Dallas received at the hands of the Colts, and it was the type of loss that can sometimes make you question the blueprint.

The Cowboys, however, are not looking at it that way. Multiple leaders in the locker room have spoke this week about how they "needed" to lose like that. Running back Ezekiel Elliott called the loss embarrassing, but also said it is better for Dallas in the "grand scheme of the season."

Clearly, the leaders and coaches are calling the putrid performance a wake up call, something that will galvanize them and reset their win streak heading into the postseason. But is this really the case, or was the shutout defeat more of a sign of things to come?

Obviously it's too early to say for sure, but I do think it can be a little bit of both.

No, the Cowboys are not the class of the NFC, despite beating what can be called the best team in the same conference a couple weeks ago. There probably will prove to be some drop-off from the top 3 seeds in the conference and the Cowboys, if for no other reason than Dallas will have to go on the road to play those teams in the playoffs. It's really hard to win on the road in the NFL, especially with the increased wackiness of 2018.

The Cowboys offense is far from perfect or prolific, though if clicking they now have the skill talent to drop 30+ points any given Sunday. Their defense is talented, has a high ceiling, but is still very young and inexperienced. Though they've played elite level games before, they've also had some stinkers against the Colts and Titans during the same season.

All of this can be true. The Cowboys can be a team deserving of the playoffs, a team we should not be panicking over, but still a very flawed football team. They can be a team that if "hot" could make a run through the postseason, but also will have to answer some tough questions about coaches and players during the next two offseasons.

After all, who isn't greatly flawed in today's NFL? Hell, we just saw the beloved Rams lose two straight games.



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Star Blog

Is it Too Late For Dallas to Fire OC Scott Linehan?

Brian Martin

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Scott Linehan

Grab your pitchforks and your torches, it's time to run the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan out of town. His playcalling has been absolutely atrocious season and it's time for him to hit the road, even if there are only two regular-season games left on the schedule.

It's completely unorthodox for an NFL team to fire an offensive coordinator this late in the season, but just last week we saw the Minnesota Vikings do just that when they parted ways with John DeFilippo. It was definitely a bold move to make considering the Vikings are still in playoff contention, but it was something they believed was in the best interest of their team.

I believe if the Dallas Cowboys want to do what's best for their team right now and not later, then they should go ahead and cut ties with Scott Linehan. His predictability and un-creativeness as a play caller is holding back a talented offense, which is hurting the overall team as a result. He's been given every opportunity to turn things around, but enough is enough.

I'd personally be on board with Jason Garrett taking over the playcalling duties. He has the experience and held the position with the Cowboys from 2007 until Linehan was hired. I'd even consider giving Kellen Moore a shot as the OC. He knows the system and has worked closely with Quarterback Dak Prescott. Regardless, the Cowboys need to find some way to increase their offensive productivity.

Kellen Moore

Dallas Cowboys QB Coach Kellen Moore

Right now the Cowboys offense is the 26th scoring offense in the NFL and are averaging just 19.7 points per game. To make matters worse they are the 31st ranked Red Zone offense in the league. I don't know about you, but I think that is completely unacceptable with the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball.

Firing Linehan has been a long time coming. The Cowboys flirted with the idea earlier this season during the bye week and should've pulled the trigger then, but for some reason or another decided to let him stick around. They are definitely still paying for that mistake now.

The Cowboys mistake not to replace Linehan could mean yet another early exit in the playoffs, something we have unfortunately become accustomed to. Scoring just 19 points a game isn't going to get them very far, which is truly unfortunate considering the talent they've acquired this season.

Unfortunately, as much as we would love to see Scott Linehan tarred and feathered and run out of town, I just don't see the Cowboys doing that before their season is officially over. But, in no way should he be allowed to retain his position beyond this season. He clearly isn't the answer any longer.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should fire Scott Linehan?



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Star Blog

Despite Embarrassing Showing, Health Remains Biggest Cowboys Concern

Kevin Brady

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Zack Martin

What is it about the AFC South with these Dallas Cowboys?

Dallas' five game winning streak came to a close on Sunday, as they got straight-up embarrassed by the now 8-6 Indianapolis Colts on the road. The loss was the first since the Cowboys were embarrassed by a different AFC South competitor, the Tennessee Titans, on Monday night football earlier this season.

Though the final was 23-0, and not a single phase (or really even a single player) showed much fight or promise, the biggest concern I have for the Cowboys moving forward didn't change because of the putrid performance. It didn't change because the defense was gashed play after play or the offense failed to finish a single drive. And it didn't even change because both the Redskins and Eagles secured season-saving victories on the same day Dallas was dismantled.

The biggest concern is still their health, particularly across the offensive line.

That was not a playoff caliber interior offensive line the Cowboys put out their on Sunday. Not even close.

With their backup center in Joe Looney, backup guard in Connor Williams, and the very last interior offensive linemen on their roster in Adam Redmond playing for basically the entire game, this offense never had a chance. Dak Prescott wasn't any more inaccurate or indecisive than normal, but all those who like to scream "step up in the pocket" whenever he is sacked did not seem to have an argument this week.

There often was no pocket to step into, as those interior three, specifically Looney and Redmond, failed to provide much protection or confidence for Prescott at all. Joe Looney has actually been rather solid this season, but Sunday felt like one of his worst games of the entire year.

The Cowboys absolutely need Zack Martin to get healthy if they are to make any noise whatsoever in the postseason. At the very least, the need Xavier Su'a-Filo to come back and replace Redmond, and regain the form he displayed during his debut against the Eagles back in November.

Prescott already has issues with his pocket presence and footwork when pressured, so throwing three backup-level linemen right in front of him is not a recipe for success for the Cowboys.

I'm not jumping out of the window over this loss, and I don't think any of you should be either. Dallas had won three straight incredibly emotional and important home games to extend, save, and solidify their season respectively before this loss. They had also just about clinched the NFC East a week ago with their win over Philadelphia, and they played like a team that was due a flat performance

A letdown loss on the road, against a good team I might add, is not the end of the world. The bigger issue here is their health, because if Martin can return to anchor this offensive line, the offense should look a whole lot better than they did against Indianapolis.

It's time to move on from Sunday, go beat Tampa Bay, officially clinch the division, and get ready for Wild Card Weekend.



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