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Now It's Time: D-Ware Going Into Hall of Fame


PHOENIX After just the second preseason game of his career, DeMarcus Ware had an all-world performance. Playing against Seattle and its All-Pro tackle Walter Jones, Ware had a sack, three tackles, a diving interception and forced two fumbles.

After the game, his head coach Bill Parcells, always one to put the media in their place, was asked about Ware's spectacular game.

"Let's not put him in Canton, yet."

While it obviously wasn't Ware's time just yet, that day has now arrived.

The Cowboys' all-time sack leader is officially headed to Canton.

Ware got the news he's been waiting for on Thursday as he learned he will be inducted into the 2023 Class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was introduced on the stage by Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones.

After just missing out on being a first-ballot Hall of Famer last year, Ware officially was introduced Thursday night during the NFL Honors awards show.

Ware isn't the only former Cowboys defender going into the Hall. Linebacker Chuck Howley was also included in this year's class a senior candidate.

However, only two defenders made it this year as Darren Woodson, the Cowboys' all-time leading tackler, was among the 15 finalists but did not make the final cut.

Ware was one of eight former players or coaches to be inducted in the 2023 class, which also includes linebacker Zach Thomas, who spent his final season of his career with Dallas in 2008.

Ware played 12 seasons, including the first nine with the Cowboys from 2005-13. During that time, he registered a franchise-record 117 career sacks.

He's currently ranked ninth on the NFL's official sack leaderswith 138.5. Of the eight players listed ahead of Ware, six of which are in the Hall of Fame and it's expected that both Julius Peppers and Terrell Suggs will eventually make it to Canton as well.

After Ware left the Cowboys, he joined the Broncos for the final three seasons of his career. In Denver, Ware made two more Pro Bowls, but more importantly, helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 against the Panthers.

When Ware retired following the 2016 season, he ended up signing a contract with the Cowboys to officially retire with the franchise that drafted him.

After all, most of Ware's legendary career occurred in Dallas.

From 2006-12, he made seven straight Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro four times.

In 2008, Ware set a career-high in sacks for a season with 20, which helped him finish second in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting. He nearly beat that mark in 2015 when he had 19.5 sacks.

Ware also had the Cowboys rookie record for sacks with eight in 2005, but that was topped by Micah Parsons this past season when the rookie linebacker registered 13 sacks in 2021.

But Ware was more than just a pass-rusher. After starting out at Troy University as a wide receiver, Ware eventually grew into the athletic defensive end that Parcells thought could transform into a 3-4 linebacker in the NFL.

Ware not only did that with his ability to get to the quarterback, but he got his hands on the ball quite a bit.

He forced 35 fumbles in his career and had three interceptions – none more electric than the 2006 pick-six against the Falcons, when Ware snagged a Michael Vick pass in mid-air, and then out-ran the speedy quarterback for a 41-yard touchdown.

In his career, Ware found the end zone three times. But now, he's headed to an even bigger place – the Pro Football Hall of Fame.