In his first six seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, OLB DeMarcus Ware missed only one start while making five Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams. In his first season with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, Ware has taken his play to an even higher level.
With Ryan shifting him around the field to avoid double teams, the 6'4 260 edge rusher has 12 sacks in seven games. He's 1/2 sack behind Minnesota's Jared Allen, and both players are on pace to break Michael Strahan's single-season record of 22.5 he set in 2001.
But what has impressed Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett the most has been Ware's all-around play:
"He's an immensely talented guy. What makes him great is the approach he takes. He's a very good practice player, and he plays with so much intensity and passion and enthusiasm. He shows up on every play as a run defender, as a pass rusher. He's just a guy who can really impact a game."
Along with his sacks, Ware has 41 tackles and two forced fumbles this season.
He could have another big game against the Seattle Seahawks this weekend. Seattle has already given up 36 sacks this season, 14th worst in the NFL, and they start a rookie first-round pick, James Carpenter of Alabama, at right tackle.