Former Head Coach Gary Kubiak congratulates DeMarcus Ware on retirement

Getty Images

Getty Images

"DeMarcus was one of the great players in this league for many years and one of the finest human beings you'll ever come across", Kubiak said. Both of his former teams acknowledged his excellence on Twitter in the wake of the announcement.

Ware announced today that he's made a decision to hang it up rather than continue pursuing opportunities in the open market as a free agent. He has been rehabbing from surgery at the Broncos' facility since the season ended in January. His 2016 season was especially hard, as he missed most of the offseason work with an infection in his back that required repeated IV antibiotics to treat. He struggled with injuries during the last two seasons, and his contract with the Broncos expired after the 2016 season.

Ware needed one sack to tie newly minted Hall of Famer Jason Taylor, and with four sacks he would have passed Michael Strahan and move into sixth place all time.

The nine-time Pro Bowl selection underwent season-ending surgery to fix a ruptured disk in his back.

In nine seasons with the Cowboys, Ware earned Pro Bowl honors every year from 2006 to 2012.

Ware spent the final three seasons of his career in Denver where he was part of the Super Bowl 50 championship Broncos team. Dallas took him 20th overall out of Troy.

Nearly certainly a future Hall of Famer, Ware finishes his career with 138.5 sacks, good for eighth all time (sacks became an official statistic in 1982).

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