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.