Don't Kill The Mellinger

DeMarcus Ware is coming, so who’s gonna block him for the Chiefs? A DKTM investigation

Updated: 2013-09-11T18:36:52Z

By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

The Chiefs will likely catch a break, if you can call it that, against the Cowboys and their fabulous pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware on Sunday.

Ware, you undoubtedly know, is perhaps the game’s best pass rusher — or, at least, the game’s best pass rusher not named J.J. Watt. Since entering the league in 2005, here is the complete list of players with more sacks than Ware’s 111:

 

 

 

 

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Actually, here is the complete list of players who are even within 25 sacks or Ware’s total since 2005:

Jared Allen.

That’s it. That’s the list.

Anyway, watching the Cowboys-Giants game you couldn’t help but wonder how the Chiefs would block Ware. But if you watch closely — actually, you don’t even have to watch all that closely — you see that Ware is lined up almost exclusively against the left tackle.

The Cowboys switched to a 4-3 defense this year that puts Ware as a defensive lineman instead of an outside linebacker, and they are apparently intent on rushing him from the right side — a right-handed quarterback’s blindside.

There are a million positives the Cowboys see in the switch, but one obvious downside is that as an outside linebacker Ware regularly flipped from the right side to the left in order to take advantage of mismatches. This year, apparently, he will not do that.

Here’s a quote from Ware in this ESPN blog piece before the Cowboys-Giants game:

"I've been on the right since the preseason. They will probably leave me there."

Another key passage:

Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin doesn't like to move players around along the defensive line that much. If you're on the right side, stay there. Right?

"He’ll be playing right end," Kiffin said of Ware. "Yeah. For the most part yeah we (don't)."

So, for the Chiefs’ purposes this weekend, that means Ware will be lined up predominantly against left tackle Branden Albert — a better matchup for them at this point than rookie right tackle Eric Fisher.

For more X’s and O’s, you guys really should be reading everything Terez Paylor does.

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