Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware guarantees he will be on the field for Sundays crucial NFC East showdown at the New York Giants.Ware has yet to practice since tweaking a quadriceps strain in the blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints two weeks ago. He spent last weeks bye rehabbing and plans to start practicing today.Ill play this week, Ware said Tuesday while serving early Thanksgiving Day dinner with his teammates at the Salvation Army in Dallas. Im feeling a lot better. I tested it [Monday] in practice. It felt pretty good. Then this week, Ill just do all the drills, make sure I get all my keys, and get ready for this week.Ware is not yet 100 percent and admits he couldnt have played if the Cowboys had a game last week.He admits to being frustrated about the injuries that have held him back this season. He has missed parts of several games with a stinger before missing three games with the quad strain.Injuries always come with football, Ware said. But the thing is being productive when Im out there. I feel like I am, but the thing is I feel like I want more time, and the injuries have been holding me back from doing that.Ware knows that if the Cowboys are going to make a push for the playoffs he needs to be effective, and that means piling up some sack numbers. Im always trying to carry the defense, Ware said. But the thing is its not just one person thats carrying it. Weve got Hatch (Jason Hatcher) back. Weve got Nick (Hayden) back. (Morris) Claiborne, he might be back.Hunting seasonJerry Jones said he would have preferred to have had his team playing during the bye week. But the Cowboys owner enjoyed a weekend away nonetheless.Jones went on a family outing to their vacation home in Missouri. He deer hunted and then watched football on Sunday afternoon.The afternoon is a good time to take a break from hunting, Jones said Tuesday on his weekly radio show on 105.3 FM. We spent quite a bit of time with a lot of people watching the games.The Cowboys, though, werent helped in the NFC East standings during the off weekend. Philadelphia beat Washington to move a half game ahead of Dallas, and the New York Giants won their fourth in a row to set up a big division showdown at The Meadowlands on Sunday.I always kind of miss playing, Jones said. I know the players dont. I really know the coaches dont as well. They appreciate this week off.Third-down playThe Cowboys spent a lot of time reviewing their third-down offense during the bye week. But the results were inconclusive.I think the biggest thing that we have to understand is third down is really oftentimes a product of first and second down, coach Jason Garrett said. The better you are on first and second down, the more manageable those third-down situations are.The Cowboys rank 28th in the NFL on third-down conversions.Better to giveWide Receiver Dwayne Harris and some of his teammates will distribute Thanksgiving meals to children and families at Project Transformations South Oak Cliff site on Thursday at Elmwood United Methodist Church,, located at 1315 Berkley in Dallas, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Clarence E. Hill Jr. 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr