Big Decision: Demarcus Ware should play situationally

December, 30, 2012
12/30/12
9:49
AM ET
DeMarcus Ware has been playing with essentially one arm for a while.

His right arm is a mess. He has been battling through a hyper-extended elbow and shoulder strain.

He missed 36 snaps last week -- more than he missed the last three games combined -- because he aggravated one of the injuries and spent much of the second half on the sideline. With a playoff berth a stake, perhaps it's time for defensive coordinator Rob Ryan to make a bold move.

This is the week to make Ware a situational player and maximize his effectiveness. That means no wasted snaps where he's dropping into coverage.

Use him in passing situations only -- and it doesn't matter whether it's second or third down. The idea is to maximize his efficiency. In this game, it's better to get 35-40 dynamic snaps instead of 60 ordinary plays because Ware is hobbled.

It's not ideal and Ware won't like it. But the idea is to give him an opportunity to be a game-changer with a playoff berth at stake.

Rarely with a phenomenal player such as Ware does less equate to more, but this is one of those times.

Victor Butler struggles against the run and has a groin strain, but he's a guy with a propensity for making big plays.

The Cowboys will need some to slow down Washington's offense.

So this is a good day to get Butler on the field, especially if it helps an injured Ware maximize his ability Sunday night.
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.

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