He led the NFL in sacks with 20 last year, but Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware(notes) has been shut out through the first three games of the 2009 season -- he has no quarterback takedowns. And he's not the only one with a sack drought on Wade Phillips' defense. Dallas is tied with six other teams for second-to-last with 3.0 total sacks, and two of those came from rookie linebacker Victor Butler(notes) last week against the Panthers. There's no doubt that Ware and the Dallas line has missed Greg Ellis(notes) (now suffering in Oakland), and replacement Anthony Spencer(notes) hasn't been as effective as the team hoped. Butler may see more time as a result, but the Cowboys have to hope that their sackmeister can get back on track in any way possible.
Problem is, it probably won't happen today. When the Cowboys line up against the Broncos, Ware will put it up against left tackle Ryan Clady(notes), the second-year monster from Boise State who's given up a grand total of one-half sack in his 19 NFL games. Clady is the most talented member of a line famed for zone- and cut-blocking, and they've only given up three sacks all year. Denver won't need to put a double-team on Ware, or bring in their backs to chip, because Clady is such a dominant pass-blocker. If Ware can take Kyle Orton(notes) down, it'll be a nice surprise for the Dallas faithful. Reality suggests another shutout, and we'll be back tonight to detail who won this tremendous battle.