DeMarcus Ware said Thursday that he wasn’t pleased to learn that Rob Ryan had been fired earlier this month. Ryan, the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator the previous two seasons, always seemed to be popular among the players he coached in Dallas.
“He was one of the best coaches I’ve ever played for, really teaching me how to play and think like a linebacker,” Ware said on the Mike & Mike in the Morning show on Dallas’ 103.3 [KESN-FM]. “I had to go in there and know all of the drops that the inside backers would have, I would have to know all of the formations, so knowing the skill of the game, he really taught me that a lot.”
Ware called Ryan’s departure “a business deal” and added that “there’s nothing that I can do about it, so you got to just get out there and play.”
When briefly mentioning new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 scheme, Ware said he’ll be able to be more aggressive up front as he moves from outside linebacker to defensive end.
The seven-time Pro Bowler had right shoulder surgery earlier this month and was wearing a protective harness during the interview. Ware said his shoulder is progressing and assured “I’ll be ready for next season.”
During an NFL.com interview, Ware said he suffered a fractured wrist, hyperextended elbow and a torn labrum this season. He added: “I was playing about six games with one arm.”
On the heels of a second consecutive 8-8 finish and a season that ended for the third consecutive year without a playoff berth, Ware was asked on Mike & Mike if the Cowboys are underachievers. The 30-year-old responded that the Cowboys have been inconsistent, but not underachieving.
“You can’t make mistakes in big games,” Ware pointed to as a reason for their struggles. “You can’t have big turnovers. This league is all about turnovers. If you’re getting three or four or two turnovers a game that gives the other teams more opportunity to score points, and it’s always about the turnover battle.”
The Cowboys finished minus-13 in turnover margin, ahead of only four other NFL teams. The Cowboys turned the ball over 29 times while forcing 16 turnovers in 2012. Only three NFL teams forced fewer turnovers.