OXNARD, Calif. –- Earlier this month, Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware posted a video on his Facebook page to show all of his fans that his surgically repaired shoulder is fully healed.
The video was of Ware lifting a 315-pound bar from his waist to his chest. He did it 10 times. When he was finished, the bar was bent.
“I was just trying to show everybody that I am ready and my shoulder’s ready,” Ware said after Tuesday’s first padded practice of training camp. “Just letting them know it’s OK.”
Ware, who said he feels like he’s in the best shape of his life, hasn’t needed to lift a bar to demonstrate to everyone in California that he’s back to full strength. The 6-foot-4, 258-pounder has done that with his play during the first three days of camp. Ware has looked as quick as ever during team drills, rushing the passer with the same success he’s experienced as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
And the 30-year-old says there’s still plenty to show new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and new defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.
“I think I’ve shown them 50 percent,” Ware said. “I’m trying to finish off and get done with this training camp and let them know what I can do.”
Moving to the new 4-3 scheme and end position is something Ware said is to his advantage. A smaller playbook allows defenders to think less and react more with their natural instincts and athletic ability, according to the seven-time Pro Bowler.
“You’re able to make a lot more plays because you’re playing defensive end,” Ware said. “Sometimes you can get a little more one-on-ones with the tackles. You’re able to rush the passer, we’ll say 94 percent of the time, and I’m loving it.”
Kyle Wilber is also making the transition from outside linebacker to defensive end. Fortunately for the fourth-round pick in last year’s draft, he has Ware to show him the ropes. Unfortunately for him, Ware has said the bar very high.
“There was one time after practice where he shook Tyron [Smith], did a spin move on the fullback and then did an arm-over on the running back and made the sack,” Wilber recalled. “I was like, ‘How are you doing this?’ Coach obviously paused it and said, ‘This is what Pro Bowlers do. You got to become like that.'”