DENVER (USA TODAY) - After 138.5 career sacks over 12 seasons, and with one Super Bowl ring, outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware is retiring from the NFL.
Ware spent nine seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before finishing his career with the Denver Broncos, where he was defensive captain of the Super Bowl 50 championship team. Ware was an unrestricted free agent after his contract with the Broncos expired last week.
“After a lot of thought and prayer, I’ve decided to accept the unknown and retire from my NFL career,” Ware wrote in a post shared on his social media accounts Monday afternoon. “Tempting opportunities still present themselves for me to play, and I feel better than I have in years. However, long term health and quality of life outweigh the spark and passion to play that I once had.”
Ware set career lows in sacks (four) and games played (10) in his final season for as he struggled with a back injury. He has been rehabbing from surgery at the Broncos’ facility since the season ended in January.
Ware played in his first Super Bowl the previous February, recording two sacks against the Carolina Panthers in the Broncos’ win. He had 3.5 sacks in the 2015 postseason.
Ware, a first-round pick out of Troy in 2005, had 117 sacks in his nine years with the Cowboys, including a 20-sack ouput in 2008. He made nine Pro Bowls, was named to the all-pro first-team four times and is a member of the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team.
He was second on the active sack leader list, behind Julius Peppers, when he retired and ranked eighth in NFL history.
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