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Thursday Night Will Be Bittersweet For DeMarcus Ware

Longtime Dallas linebacker/defensive end DeMarcus Ware will return to AT&T Stadium Thursday night as a member of the opposing team, the Denver Broncos.

Ronald Martinez

After nine seasons as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, the former first round draft pick will make what could be his last visit to AT&T Stadium as an active football player when the Denver Broncos visit to close out the 2014 NFL preseason for both clubs. During his tenure with the Cowboys, Ware recorded a franchise record 117 sacks and earned Pro Bowl honors seven times. He also played his way into the hearts of everyone who follows the blue star. It will seem strange watching one of the all time great Dallas players take the field in the orange and blue colors of the visitors from the mile high city. It is a day that even Ware thought would never come.

"I thought I was always going to be a Dallas Cowboy. That was really, really big for me. I played well for nine years. I never thought they would get rid of me. It’s different being in a different uniform." - DeMarcus Ware

It is anticipated the Ware, along with the starters from both teams, will watch the game from the sidelines, but it would be only fitting if the Broncos would allow the future Hall of Fame pass rusher to take the field for the first defensive snap. This would allow the "hometown" folks to pay homage to one of the greatest defensive players in Dallas history. DeMarcus Ware has certainly earned one more moment in the spotlight at the house that Jerry built, the stadium where in the near future his name will be etched into the Ring of Honor alongside the best of the best.

Although the Cowboys decided to part ways with Ware during the off season, both sides are adament that the split was amicable. Ware knows that the team had to make a business, rather than an emotional, decision regarding his contract. The last two seasons, when he was a shadow of his former self, plus the high salary cap hit made it impossible for the Cowboys to keep him on the roster.

"The Cowboys were always a consideration because they’re home for me and they were always at the top of my priority, but things just didn’t work out. We just split ways amicably and said, ‘You know what, this right here is what we need to do. We need to test the market and see what your worth is.’ Denver, at the end of the day, they said, ‘This right here is what your worth is.’ The ball just started rolling."

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Those of us left behind don't have to like it but that is the way things are going to play out. His shot with Denver will be a new beginning for the pass rushing superstar and will give him a legitimate change to earn that elusive Super Bowl ring. Even so, Demarcus Ware will always be a Dallas Cowboy and he intends to retire as such.

"Before and just talking to (Cowboys owner) Jerry (Jones) we talked about (the Ring of Honor) and he was just like, ‘You know I want you to be able to come back here and retire as a Dallas Cowboy.That’s a big goal of mine."

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