From the moment Demarcus Ware set foot on Texas Stadium’s turf in 2005, I knew he was going to be a freak.
Not a freak like Jerry Jones picked him up off a circus carriage or something, but a physical specimen that might come along once every generation, never to be outmatched by another living soul.
Boy, did he deliver.
The Dallas Cowboys all-time leader in sacks was a testament to the term “pass rush.” He was one of the few men in the National Football League that demanded attention every week in every season he played. He was also my favorite player.
How could he not have been? The man led the league in sacks twice, including an almost inhumane 20-sack year in 2008 that had Michael Strahan’s single-season record sweating in its jockstrap.
He helped Dallas win two division titles in 2007 and 2009, something that Cowboy fans have realized is much more difficult to come across than it used to be.
But my favorite memory of the man we’ve all come to know as “D-Ware” has nothing to do with his immense skill on the field.
I’m honestly too cheap to buy jerseys, and when I do I treat them like their something out of scripture. I never eat with them on, I’ll never purchase the most expensive type and I certainly won’t wear them away from major sporting events.
For Ware, I made an exception. When I bought that pro replica-style jersey from the NFL’s website, I must’ve giggled like a schoolgirl. How could I help myself? This jersey had W-A-R-E stitched in the back with that all too familiar number 94 etched on the front and back, complete with a beautiful blue star on the sides.
Whenever I had the opportunity to visit Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, I proudly strutted through the concourse with my piece of memorabilia draped across my torso as if I were invincible.
The only problem with this is that the rest of the fans in attendance always have the same idea, because when your organization picks up a class act like Ware, he instantly becomes the man in town.
His conquest of the NFL in a Cowboys uniform was a treat to behold. Even my first live game was a nearly picture-perfect image of his destructive capabilities.
On Thanksgiving Day in 2008, Ware got around Hall-of-Famer Walter Jones like he was nothing more than a raw rookie and sacked Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck three times in a 34-9 Cowboys win.
If that’s not a great overall representation of what Ware brought year in and year out on his way to what will surely be a Hall-of-Fame career.
As the last decade’s best pass rusher enters his twilight years alongside Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, who look ready for another trip to the Super Bowl, Ware will hopefully end his amazing journey on the highest of highs.
In the meantime, this fan will proudly display his No. 94 jersey with pride.
Thanks for the great memories, Demarcus. Now go get the only thing the Cowboys couldn’t offer and the one thing you deserve above anyone else: a ring.