DeMarcus Ware is Itching to Play Football, Tackle His New 3-4 Defensive Scheme

July 18, 2011 – 10:10 am by Eric Schmoldt

If the Dallas Cowboys’ new defensive scheme is as confusing as DeMarcus Ware makes it sound, the lockout better end right about now. The Cowboys added former Cleveland and Oakland defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to their staff in the same capacity in the offseason and, while he hasn’t been able to work with players, Ware says they have been able to learn a little bit of it. But by the way he describes it, you would think it’s the most difficult scheme in the league.

Hopefully every team will start getting a chance to dive into those schemes very shortly. Reports have indicated more and more optimism over the past week that a deal to end the NFL lockout could be on the way.

DeMarcus Ware joined ESPN Radio in Dallas with Galloway and Company to discuss the optimism surrounding the lockout, how much it hurts not to have OTAs and mini-camps, Tony Romo’s leadership role throughout the lockout, if he has spoken to Dez Bryant, the team’s new defensive scheme and being ranked No. 12 in the recent list of the league’s top players.

Should we be as optimistic about all the news we’re reading regarding the lockout?:

“I think when you’re always working out deals, there’s always going to be little, small things that can have hiccups, but if you can get the majority of the main things done … I think everything is progressing. The media’s saying everything’s progressing. Everybody else is saying it’s progressing slowly. I’m just ready to play.”

How much will it hurt not to have mini-camps and OTAs?:

“We’ve got a new defensive coordinator, we always have new guys coming in. You didn’t get introduced to the rookies and, sort of, what they do and how they fit in the scheme of things. That sort of can hurt you a little bit. And you build that team unity in the OTAs because you’re working out, you’re sort of like the blood, sweat and tears, is what you call it. And you really build that team unity from OTAs building all the way up to training camp. And also your body, too. First of all you’re doing OTAs and you’re running around and putting stress on your body. Then you have a little mini-camp where you can pump it up and push a little bit harder, and then once mini-camp starts you’re ready for it. … Hopefully it all doesn’t have a burden on us.”

Is there a chance the lockout was good for Tony Romo because he took on the leadership role of putting together the team’s workouts?:

“I did see something really good that came out of it. Nobody had to work out. Nobody had to go out and do the OTAs or anything like that, but Romo took on that leadership role and said, ‘Guys we’ve got to get together.’ … Only one guy has really taken on that role of doing all that and that was Romo.”

Have you spoken with Dez Bryant since everything went down in the offseason?:

“I think when things like that happen, you sort of got to let all the media get all that stuff out, then you’ve got to talk to those guys one on one. … I like to sit down and talk to guys face-to-face about moral things and things like that. I think Dez, you learn from things that happen in life. He’s a great guy, a great player, I know he learned from that and we’re just moving on.”

How different is this new 3-4 scheme from others that you have played in?:

“It’s like a 3-4 scheme/4-3 scheme. It’s like two non-schemes. … There’s so many intricacies in that defense — certain guys dropping, certain guys moving around. It’s not a straight-up, basic 3-4 where one guy’s dropping all the time, one guy’s rushing all the time. … Everybody has a responsibility and it switches up. That’s one thing that I like, you never know who’s coming.”

What did you make of your No. 12 ranking in the recent Top 100 players list?:

“Little things like that, that’s only a number and I think your number is out there on the field. … It really doesn’t matter if I was 94 or number 12. Your peers vote you as that, that’s what you are. That just gives you something to strive a little bit the next season. … I wasn’t No. 1 last year, so what am I going to do about it?”

Listen to DeMarcus Ware on ESPN Radio Dallas here

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