Class of 2023
DeMarcus Ware, a 6-foot-4-inch, 258-pound linebacker out of Troy University, was selected in the first round (11th overall pick) in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He spent the majority of his 12 seasons in the league with the Cowboys (2005-2013) before capping his career with the Denver Broncos (2014-16).
Ware entered the league in 2005 as an underdog with something to prove – and he did just that, starting all 16 games at right outside linebacker and amassing 58 tackles and a team-best eight sacks. He also led the Cowboys each of the next seven seasons through 2012. In 2008 and 2010, he led the NFL with 20 sacks and 15.5 sacks, respectively.
Ware played on only one team with a losing record during his career and helped lead his teams to five playoff appearances. He started at weakside linebacker in the Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory over the Carolina Panthers, finishing with three solo tackles and two assists, two sacks and four hits on the quarterback.
During his career, Ware registered 138.5 sacks, intercepted three passes for 44 return yards and one touchdown and also returned two fumbles for TDs. He played in 178 games with 173 starts. In his final season in Dallas, Ware established the team’s career sack record with 117 – a record that still stands.
Ware was voted first-team All-Pro four times (2007-09, 2011), second-team All-Pro three times (2006, 2010, 2012) and was selected to nine Pro Bowls (2007-2013, 2015-16). He is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
In 2016, Ware received the Darrent Williams Good Guy Award – an annual award the Denver Broncos present to a player from their team “who best exemplifies Williams’ enthusiasm, cooperation and honesty while dealing with members of the press.”
Additional career statistics: Interceptions: 3-44, 1 TD; fumble recovery for TD: 2.
Full name: DeMarcus Omar Ware
Birthdate: July 31, 1982
Birthplace: Auburn, Alabama
High school: Auburn (Alabama)
Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: Jan. 17, 2023
Other members of the Class of 2023: Rondé Barber, Don Coryell, Chuck Howley, Joe Klecko, Darrelle Revis, Ken Riley, Joe Thomas, Zach Thomas.
Pro career: 13 seasons, 184 games.
Drafted: First round (11th overall) in 2005 by Dallas Cowboys
Uniform number: 94