We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 94 and a historical player.
DE DeMarcus Ware
Born: 31st July 1982 (40) - Auburn, Alabama
College: Troy Trojans
Draft: 2005, Round 1, Pick 11, Dallas Cowboys
Total Snaps: 9,105
Tackles For Loss: 171
Forced Fumbles: 35
Fumble Recoveries: 8
Hall of Fame 2023
Super Bowl Winner 2016
9 x Pro Bowl
4 x All-Pro
2 x NFL sack leader
DeMarcus Ware accepted a scholarship at Troy in 2001 became a starter at defensive end during his sophomore season. He was fifth on the team in tackles that year with 72 and had 19 tackles for loss. What got him noticed was his senior year at Troy where he was a complete force. He was the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year and he as a major figure in helping Troy get to its first ever bowl appearance.
Ware finished his college career with 27 sacks, 201 tackles, ten forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. His sack total is still second-most in school history and his 55 tackles for loss is still the most in school history. In 2012 he was inducted into Troy’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Projected by some to be a second-round talent, Ware didn’t last that long as the Cowboys pick him at number 11. Bill Parcells wanted Marcus Spears to be the pick, but Jerry Jones was adamant about his guy and took Ware. The Cowboys still got Spears with their next pick. Ware made an immediate impact for Dallas and won Rookie of the Month as well as NFC Defensive Player of the Week. He tied the team lead in sacks by the end of his rookie year and is only the second rookie in team history to ever do it.
His strength and force up front helped him to be a sack-machine and led the NFL in sacks twice, this would later make him an expensive decision for Jerry Jones. After nine seasons with Dallas, the tough decision was made to not re-sign Ware and he was later signed by the Denver Broncos in 2014. He played three season at Denver helping them in winning a Super Bowl in 2016 versus Carolina. Ware retired in 2017 and signed a one-day contract with Dallas and was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the class of 2023.