49ers vs. Cowboys: DeMarcus Ware The Player To Watch

After week one of the preseason, the San Francisco 49ers looked like they'd have a myriad of changes to make along their offensive line. After week one of the regular season, they're a confident bunch heading into week two. There's a saying that goes "confidence is ignorance - if you're confident, that just means there's something you're forgetting or you don't know."

Something tells me that the 49ers are aware of DeMarcus Ware.

The offensive line didn't allow a sack in week one against the Seattle Seahawks, though they also didn't perform exceptionally well in the run game. The Seahawks were more focused on stacking the box and stopping running back Frank Gore than they were on sacking quarterback Alex Smith. It was no secret that the 49ers were going to be running the ball, and Seattle was more concerned with Gore, who has a history of burning them for big chunks of yardage. Usually when that happens, a quarterback will take advantage and burn a struggling secondary, but that didn't exactly happen ... good thing the 49ers had defense and special teams in week one.

Still, it all comes down to the fact that there were a lot of big angry men chasing after Alex Smith and none of them were able to catch him in week one. And now it all comes down to the fact that Demarcus Ware will be the guy chasing around Smith for sixty minutes. Is Joe Staley up to the task of holding down the left side of the line against Ware? It's possible ... he's a streaky player, but at his best, he can hold his own.

Watching how the Cowboys use Ware will be the biggest thing on Sunday. If they put him up against Anthony Davis on the right side of the line, you might see the 49ers passing game limited as Vernon Davis stays in to block. Then again, Ware has the tendency to go on the side where the tight end isn't, so Staley is the likely target. Ware is coming off a two-sack performance against the New York Jets, a game in which he lined up on the right, left and in the middle of the line - where he promptly blitzed right up the center.

Aside from Greg Roman, Jim Harbaugh and the rest of the offensive staff, another player should be watching Ware intently on the sidelines: Aldon Smith. The two share an important quality at their position: an impressive wingspan, and Smith has to have his aspirations set on being a player of Ware's caliber. We won't know if he'll reach that point for a couple seasons, but we've only until Sunday to see if the 49ers o-line can handle Ware.

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