Ware had been to the playoffs in just three of his nine years with the Cowboys, and regardless of whether the team was a wild-card team squeaking into the postseason or a dominant division winner, Ware never had a shot to play in a conference championship game.
"I think when you talk to the young guys, you have to put things in perspective," Ware said. "They look at you and say, ‘DeMarcus Ware, you've played for 11 years.' I look back at them and I tell them, 'When I was 13-3, I lost in the playoffs. When I was 9-7, I lost in the playoffs. When I was 12-4, I lost in the playoffs.'
"I say, 'Guess what? I lost in the playoffs last year also. I’ve been in this thing 11 years and you've only been in this thing for one year and you have the opportunity to do something great.'"
His teammates have responded, and for a person and a player like Ware, they want to help him reach the next level, too.
Ware's anticipation is almost palpable, as his teammates learned quickly."They’ve asked me, actually, 'Are you ready?' I said, 'Are you kidding me? What do you mean, Am I ready?'" Ware said. "I've lost four times and I have an opportunity now to do something great."