After taking the 2010 season off from his string of accolades, Dallas Cowboys OLB DeMarcus Ware has returned to his familiar perch as the best at what he does. The seventh-year pro was named on Friday to his fourth First-Team All-Pro team by the Associated Press. He finished his campaign with 19.5 sacks, just a half sack away from becoming the first player in NFL history to have more than one season at 20 sacks or more. Ware was the only Cowboys player named to the first team.
Despite suffering a stinger in the first contest against the New York Giants, Ware started in all 16 games for the season for sixth time in his career, and played in all for the seventh consecutive season. Considering all of the "hold-your-breath" scares he's been involved in over the years it's amazing that he hasn't missed a single contest.
Limited in the final four games of the season, Ware was not able to walk away with the league sack title however. That went to Minnesota's Jared Allen who finished the season with 22 sacks, just shy of Michael Strahan's 22.5 league record. Allen was also named to his fourth All-Pro first team.
Ware finished the 2010 campaign with 48 tackles and 10 assists, to go along with his high sack total. He also forced two fumbles and recovered one.
His 19.5 sacks brings his career total to 99.5, which is the NFL record for the Dallas Cowboys. The franchise kept track of sack totals before it became an official NFL statistic, so the club record is actually held by Harvey Martin and his 114. With a slightly above-average season in 2012 (Ware has averaged 14.2 sacks a year), he should be able to unify the official and unofficial belts, so to speak. Martin also holds the single-season mark at 23 in one season (in 14 games). Breaking that mark in 2012 would possibly place Ware as the greatest pass rusher of all-time.
Due to Ware's abnormally high penalty rate in 2011 (11 called, 9 accepted), Ware finished third amongst OLB's in Pro Football Focus cumulative game grades; behind Miami's Cameron Wake and San Francisco's Aldon Smith. Regardless, it was another banner year for the Cowboys premiere defensive player.