Why DeMarcus Ware Is Better Than Shawne Merriman ⋆
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Why DeMarcus Ware Is Better Than Shawne Merriman

Dallas Cowboys

Why DeMarcus Ware Is Better Than Shawne Merriman

has more tackles that Shawne during the final period amassing 17.

Another situational stat shows that Ware has 3 sacks on 3rd and long, forcing the team opposing into an obvious 4th and long situation.

Merriman on the other hand had no sacks and only 1 tackle on 3rd and long in 2007.

ESPN.com NFC East blogger Matt Mosley said in an entry yesterday that the Cowboys made the right decision in drafting Ware over Merriman.

Of course being a Cowboys fan I agree with his assessment, but the only way to truly find out is to simply break down the numbers.

Shawne Merriman, better known as “Lights Out,” was drafted by the Chargers out of Maryland 5 years ago. So far he has amassed an impressive total of 39.5 sacks, his career high coming in 2006 when he notched 17.

That was also the same year that Merriman tested positive for steroids and missed four games, dashing any hopes of breaking the all time sack record.

Delving deeper into Merriman’s stats, in 2007 he had an imposing six sacks in the month of December. If you can recall, that’s the year that the Chargers went to the AFC Championship to face the Patriots.

Shawne had an ok showing in the playoffs that season where he totaled 13 tackles and one sack. However he did have a game or two where he had four or five tackles where he wasn’t really noticeable.

Within the AFC, Merriman does his best work against the Kansas City Chiefs where he sacked their main signal caller four times and had 16 tackles in 2007.

Shawne missed all of last season with a knee injury, which will probably take him at least a season and a half to fully recover from. Will his sack totals decrease due to lack of burst off the line?

Shawne has never had over 70 tackles in a season, so will his tackle total suffer as well?

At first look it seems as if the Chargers were right in their choice. Merriman has a motor that never quits and gives 110% on the field.

However there is a cloud of deceit around his true abilities. Did the steroids contribute to the 17 sacks or was it just pure strength and skill?

Moving on to DeMarcus Ware.

He was drafted the same year as Merriman out of Troy in southeast Alabama.

Ware had his best statistical output last year as he had 20 sacks, 84 tackles, and 6 forced fumbles. He also had 84 tackles in 2004 coupled with 14 sacks.

Ware has more career sacks than Shawne with 53. But to Ware’s advantage, Merriman was injured all of last season.

DeMarcus seems to do his best work against the Giants of New York. Last season he had 12 tackles, 4 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles.

Ware also remains consistent as the game progresses. Like Merriman he has 6 sacks in the fourth quarter, but Ware has more tackles than Shawne during the final period amassing 17.

Another situational stat shows that Ware has 3 sacks on 3rd and long, forcing the team opposing into an obvious 4th and long situation.

Merriman on the other hand had no sacks and only 1 tackle on 3rd and long in 2007.

Comparing these two players is like appraising the abilities of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. The thing about Jordan and Johnson is that there is one player that is better than the other. You know the one with 6 championship rings?

Well, that’s kind of like Ware and Merriman without any rings between the two.

Over and above Ware just seems to be the better overall player. He tackles, shows up in crucial situations, and had 20 sacks through an injury riddled season.

Both players will prove to be great by the end of their career. But at this moment in time, who would you choose? The player with the knee injury or the guy with 20 sacks?

-JH

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11 Comments
  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

    Jason, welcome to the site bro, and thanks for the contribution.

    I’ve debated this many times before and the answer is always the same – Ware does everything naturally, and seems better than Merriman. You gave some good stats to show it. Of course Ware had his best season last year while Merriman sat out with a knee injury – same experience and time and who’s to say that Merriman wouldn’t have had just as good of a year last year?

    But Ware’s best year was better than Merriman’s and you forgot to mention that Ware was battling a knee injury last year too. He recovered fast but was slowed down for a couple of games because of it, and wore a bigger knee brace the rest of the season. That’s important.

  • Jason

    Bryson,

    Thanks for the comment man, I appreciate it.

    Ware did battle a knee injury last year and still powered his way to 20 sacks, which is another reason why Ware trumps him.

    I also put a lot of stock into tackles and Ware bests Shawne in that category too. 84 tackles two years in a row? Consistency seems to be the best judge in this case.

    -JH

  • https://insidethestar.com/ Bryson Treece

    Absolutely! Both guys are very talented, and maybe it’s just a matter of scheming and other personnel around them, though Merriman started under Phillips, but Ware just out works Merriman on just about every down. Nothing against Merriman either, I’d love to have him on the team, but I’d rather have Ware.

    • Jason

      That’s a good point about Phillips as Merriman had his best season under Wade. I think he’s working his magic with DeMarcus as well. But just from a player standpoint, I would rather have Ware.

      Both players command your attention on the defensive side of the ball, but for some reason it seems that Ware is going to have the more consistent career.

      -JH

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