DeMarcus Ware played his first nine seasons in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, where he became the team’s all-time sack leader, seeing time both as a defensive end and outside linebacker. He signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent in 2014.
Early Years & College
Ware was born in Auburn, AL on July 31, 1982. Ware played football, basketball, and baseball at Auburn High School, and he starred as a linebacker and wide receiver for the Tigers football team. After graduating, he enrolled at Troy University and developed into a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection for the Trojans. He helped lead the school to its first ever bowl appearance in the Silicon Valley Football Classic and racked up 27.5 sacks and 195 tackles during his collegiate career.
Despite playing well as a defensive end at Troy, NFL scouts wondered if Ware’s size would prevent him from finding similar success at the next level. Cowboys GM Jerry Jones took a chance and selected him with the 11th pick of the 2005 NFL Draft, and he became the first Dallas rookie since Jimmie Jones to ever lead the team in sacks. At the conclusion of the 2008 season, Ware had emerged as one of the league’s premier pass rushers and led the NFL with 20.0 sacks en route to being named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
During the 2012 season opener against the New York Giants, Ware sacked Eli Manning and became the second fastest player ever to reach the 100 sack mark behind Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White. He recorded 11.5 sacks that season despite playing through a torn hamstring, a fractured right wrist, and a torn shoulder labrum, eventually leading to his seventh Pro Bowl selection. He moved to linebacker in 2013 when defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin came to the Cowboys, and he had his worst season in the league, managing only 6.0 sacks.
Dallas asked Ware to take a pay cut to stay with the team, but he refused, and the franchise decided to part ways with its all-time sack leader on March 11, 2014, subsequently making him a free agent. Only a day later he joined the Broncos on a three-year, $30 million deal.
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