Cowboys won’t rule out Ware despite scary hit
Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware could play Saturday
night, an encouraging sign after a scary headfirst collision that
left him sprawled on the field for several anxious minutes.
“He’s actually a lot better today,” coach Wade Phillips said
Monday. “He’s really in a day-to-day situation as far as where
he’s going to be, as far as being able to play. He took quite a hit
but has really bounced back strong. That’s encouraging for him and
After Ware got hurt in the fourth quarter of a 20-17 loss Sunday
against San Diego, the Cowboys on Monday described Ware’s injury as
a strained muscle in his neck. Ware was taken off the field
strapped to a stretcher and went to the hospital for further
evaluation before being released several hours later.
“It’s not anything more than that,” said Phillips, adding that
Ware had no concussion-like symptoms.
With a short week of preparation before playing at undefeated
New Orleans, the players were off Monday and unavailable for
comment. They return to practice Tuesday.
Backup safety and special teams player Pat Watkins sprained his
left knee on a kickoff return Sunday and will be out at least two
weeks, maybe the rest of the regular season. Phillips also said
tight end Martellus Bennett has not been cleared to play after
experiencing concussion-like symptoms that kept him out against the
Chargers. Bennett will also miss the New Orleans game.
Phillips said safety Ken Hamlin, who missed the last four games
with a high right ankle sprain, will start “working back in” at
practice this week. Phillips isn’t sure if Hamlin will play against
the Saints but said there is a chance.
The Cowboys (8-5) have dropped a game behind Philadelphia in the
NFC East after consecutive losses to start December.
Ware was hurt while pursing quarterback Philip Rivers. The
three-time Pro Bowl linebacker got around another offensive lineman
and then went headfirst into the upper leg of lineman Brandyn
Dombrowski. Ware remained on the ground, then was immobilized and
put on a stretcher before being taken off the field on a cart.
In October, Ware agreed to a $78 million, six-year contract
extension through the 2015 season that included a $20 million
signing bonus. The 27-year-old was in the final year of the
contract he signed after being selected with the 11th overall pick
in the 2005 draft.