DeMarcus Ware said training camp won’t be like OTAs and mini-camp for him. He’s going to go full speed, and he won’t have to wear a brace or harness for the sake of his shoulder.
“I’m ready to go full go,” the veteran defensive end said Sunday as the Cowboys got ready for their first practice of training camp. “Especially once you get the pads on. Once you put those on, it’s no-holds-barred when you get in there.”
Ware is coming off of shoulder surgery in the offseason to repair an injury that slowed him severely in the last half of last season. At one point in the season finale against Washington, he couldn’t lift his arm.
“I don’t even want to think about that last game,” he joked.
Then he thought about how much he was limited a year ago, when his sack production dipped from 19.5 in 2011 to 11.5.
“Playing at least eight games where you’re not at least totally healthy, your mind sort of has to take over, but your body is not doing what your mind is telling it to do,” Ware said. “And now being able to do everything, go out and play, feel whole again, feels really good.”
Ware said the transition back to the 4-3 from the 3-4 will be easier than the switch the other way around seven years ago.
“You go from a defensive end to a linebacker, you have to drop a little bit more, you have a little bit more formations and everything you have to worry about because you have to drop,” he said. “And now you’re just putting your hand down in the dirt, reading formations. You’re pass-rushing 90 percent, actually 99 – I would say 94 percent of the time.”
He smiled at his own joke, evidence of the good mood he was in. He allowed himself to hint about the larger team goal.
“The last two seasons, being 8-8, we’re here working to do better than that,” he said. “Not just going out and saying we’re trying to make the playoffs. Who wants to just make the playoffs? We’re trying to get to where we need to be, ’cause we want to taste a little bit of that apple.”