TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 17: Linebacker DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys sacks quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers December 17, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

2012 Pro Bowl: DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff Represented Cowboys In 59-41 NFC Defeat

DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff are the only Dallas players making the trip to Honolulu, the fewest number of Cowboys in the Pro Bowl since 2003.

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Pro Bowl 2012: Demarcus Ware Believes In Rob Ryan And The Defense

The Dallas Cowboys have sent just two delegates to the 2012 Pro Bowl, a number far lower than what they're accustomed to. The pass rusher known as DeMarcus Ware will make his sixth appearance for the NFC and will be joined by defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, making his fourth appearance. Both players will start.

From the Doomsday Defenses in the 70's to the Super Bowl winning defenses of the 90's, the Cowboys have been at their best when the defense is rolling on all cylinders. This current Cowboys unit seems to show flashes of greatness but has too many lapses at critical moments. Plus, there are obvious drop-offs in talent at key positions, i.e. secondary.

For Ware, he feels like another year under Rob Ryan could prove to be a big difference in Big D:

"I don't think you can really wrap it around one thing or one player or somebody's playing not to their potential," Ware said. "You got to look at the whole team, just in general and assess, 'What did we do not as well in that game? How can we improve?'

"And I think there's going to be a big improvement having Rob Ryan for a whole another year, knowing his system, knowing what's really going on. Having Jason Garrett, the leader, that motivational guy for us. I think it's going to all just pan out next season."

Dallas finished as the 14th-ranked defense in 2011, but their pass defense was 23rd. The foundation of this defense is Ware and Ratliff, now its time for Jerry Jones and Co. to build a defensive winner around their key talent.

For more on the Dallas Cowboys be sure to check out Blogging The Boys. For more NFL news and analysis head on over to SB Nation's NFL hub.

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2012 Pro Bowl: Time, Schedule And More

The Dallas Cowboys will be represented at the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl by defensive standouts Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware who will both be starting for the NFC.

Ratliff joins an NFC defensive line that includes Minnesota's Jared Allen, Philadelphia's Jason Babin and San Francisco's Justin Smith. Ware will be part of a linebacking corps that includes the Packers' Clam Matthews and the 49ers' Patrick Willis.

Ratliff is making his fourth-straight Pro Bowl appearance after finishing the season with 38 tackles and two sacks for the Cowboys. DeMarcus Ware is making his sixth consecutive appearance in the game after finishing with 58 tackles and 19.5 sacks on the season.

Game date/time: Sunday, January 29, 6:00 p.m. CT

Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii

TV: NBC

For more on the Dallas Cowboys be sure to check out Blogging The Boys. For more NFL news and analysis head on over to SB Nation's NFL hub.

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2012 Pro Bowl: NFC Roster Has Only Two Dallas Cowboys

DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff are the only Dallas players making the trip to Honolulu, the fewest number of Cowboys in the Pro Bowl since 2003.

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