DeMarcus Ware is beaten up, though his strained shoulder and hyperextended elbow won't keep him out of Sunday's winner-take-all game against the Redskins. It could, however, keep him from playing in the Pro Bowl.
Ware might need off-season shoulder surgery.
"I can answer that, but I'm not going to answer that," Ware said Thursday. "Maybe. Maybe not. Wait to the end of the season to see."
Ware was voted to his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl on Wednesday, but he hesitated when asked if he would play in the Jan. 27 all-star game.
"I don’t know yet," Ware said. "Just depends on what they say."
Ware's injuries have not kept him out of the lineup -- he has never missed a game in his eight-year career -- but they have limited his effectiveness. He played only 59 of 95 plays against the Saints, leaving with 30 seconds left in the third quarter and returning for one play in overtime after his shoulder popped out. He has 11.5 sacks, but only 2.5 have come in the past seven games.
"I think in some ways you've got to fight through it mentally," Ware said. "You have to be mentally sharp, knowing what’s going on. They throw a lot of stuff at you. The Washington Redskins do, and you've got to figure out: How can I get an edge? I feel like physically I'm there, but mentally I can get better."
Ware has not practiced this week. The Cowboys could spot play Ware on Sunday, though his backup, Victor Butler, was limited in practice Thursday with a groin injury after missing practice Wednesday.
"We’ll continue to monitor him, and all our guys over the course of the week and just see what their ability is," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "Certainly we want DeMarcus Ware out there as much as we can have him out there. But again, you have to pick your spots."
-- Charean Williams