Ware: 4-3 defense change can benefit play

NEW ORLEANS — DeMarcus Ware is in no shape physically to do anything in the Dallas Cowboys’ planned 4-3 defense. But mentally? He’s in his three-point stance and ready to fire off the line.

“I’ll still be an edge guy, rushing the passer,” Ware said. “I think it can benefit me. I can be a lot more aggressive.”

Ware, who is in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, mentioned no longer “having to worry about dropping into coverage.” He didn’t move into that uncomfortable spot last year as often as some think, but if Ware says it is the end of a “worry,” maybe that’s endorsement enough of the switch to the 4-3.

“Sometimes, change is good,” Ware says. “This is the first change [in coaching and style] where we’ve had a total change … But I can play the 4-3 [end] like in college. That part’s not a big change.”

The seven-time Pro Bowler said he was “shocked” by the firing of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Yet he endorses the hire of Monte Kiffin, noting that it’s all “a business decision.”

Ware is prepared to lead the retooled Dallas defense, but first will have to complete rehab from surgeries that likely will include a procedure on his elbow. Ware, who expects to be ready by the start of next summer’s training camp, had 11.5 sacks last season, but injuries limited his impact in the second half of the year.

“I’m looking forward to being aggressive,” Ware said, “and getting after the quarterback.”