MOBILE, Ala. – The Dallas Cowboys’ love affair with DeMarcus Ware began back at the 2005 Senior Bowl.
Then-Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells whispered to Monte Kiffin, the future Cowboys defensive coordinator, who was coaching in the game, to have Ware go through some linebacker drills so the team could see his athleticism.
A few months later, Ware was the Cowboys’ first-round pick. By 2013, he was the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks with 117.
One day Ware’s name will be added to the team’s Ring of Honor, but he never had a chance to play in a Super Bowl with the Cowboys. He will get that chance in two weeks at Super Bowl 50 for the Denver Broncos.
The Cowboys could not be happier for Ware.
“He’s one of our – one of mine, don’t want to speak for everybody – favorite players who ever played here,” executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “He just did everything the right way -- on the field, off the field, great with kids, the ultimate competitor. I think he’s a shoo-in Hall of Famer and just really made us feel good to get to see him go play in a Super Bowl, and of course played lights-out. That really made us feel good to see him get after it like that and having a chance to play for a championship.”
The Cowboys released Ware following the 2013 season after he put up a career-low six sacks. With a high salary-cap figure and the belief injuries were starting to take its toll, the Cowboys moved on, but Ware has put up 17.5 sacks in two seasons with Denver and was named to the Pro Bowl the last two seasons.
In the AFC Championship Game, Ware had a half-sack and seven quarterback pressures of Tom Brady.
“He played so well in that ballgame. He had a big impact on the success of their team, a number of those plays, particularly in the second half of that game,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s the guy who is around the quarterback, forcing the hurried throw or the inaccurate throw, so they did a great job pressuring the quarterback throughout the ballgame and he was a big part of it. I’m really excited for him. He’s a special guy.”