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October 18, 2013

Wilber, who may have to start in Ware's place, getting closer to making impact for Cowboys

Defensive end Kyle Wilber, who would start at defensive end if DeMarcus Ware can’t play on Sunday, said he has gained eight pounds over his playing weight from last year but still has about that much to go to get to the weight the Cowboys want – 255 pounds.

“I have problems with weight, so I’ll always have a problem gaining weight,” he said.

Wilber was drafted in 2012 out of Wake Forest weight 240 pounds. He is listed at 250 by the Cowboys now and credits strength coach Bruce Woicik.

“Just eating, and Coach Woicik,” Wilber said. “He makes sure we eat right and we’re still hitting the weights hard so he can keep that weight on us.”

Wilber, who made his first splash play last week with his sack-strip-recovery against the Redskins' Robert Griffin III, said he understands more about the defense and pro game now than last year, which was a frustrating season because he missed much of it with injuries.

“You have to motivate yourself,” said Wilber, who played 51 of 78 plays last week with Ware sidelined after 16 plays. “It’s hard being a backup, especially behind a Pro Bowler and future hall of famer. You see yourself not getting a lot of playing time.

"You definitely have to prepare yourself mentally to make sure you get these reps to be the best you can be, so when the opportunity does come, you can step up.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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