The NFL Honors took place Thursday evening, and Dallas Cowboys fans waited with bated breath for the revealing of the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class.
It’s widely viewed that Cowboy great DeMarcus Ware was snubbed in his first year of eligibility in 2022. Fittingly, voters did right by Ware this time around, as the former All-Pro linebacker has officially earned a spot in Canton.
Ware highlights a class that includes former greats Darrelle Revis, Joe Thomas, Ronde Barber, Chuck Howley (!), Joe Klecko, Zach Thomas, Ken Riley, and former coach Don Coryell.
It’s a fully deserved honor for Ware, who ranks ninth in NFL history with 138.5 sacks. Ware is the Cowboys’ all-time sack leader, and collected seven of his nine Pro Bowls with Dallas (two with the Broncos in 2014 and ’15).
Former Cowboys greats DeMarcus Ware, Chuck Howley, voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Ware gets his bust in Canton. As it should be.
Ware’s prime (2006-12) personified dominance. He was a first- or second-team All-Pro each season, and finished top-five in Defensive Player of the Year voting twice, including finishing second to the Steelers’ James Harrison in 2009. He totaled at least 10 sacks in each season.
Total dominance. The only thing missing from his resume is a Defensive Player of the Year. Even without that feat, Ware had a fantastic career. Only the late Reggie White eclipsed 100 sacks faster than the newly-minted Hall of Famer — he did it in 113 games — since sacks were first officially tracked in 1982.
Though on the backend, Ware accomplished great things in his career’s second chapter with the Denver Broncos. He was quickly voted team captain, and became a Pro Bowler in 2014 and 2015. He notched double-digit sacks in his initial season, and was instrumental in Denver’s march to Super Bowl 50, notching 12 quarterback hits and 3.5 sacks in the playoffs.
While gutting that Ware didn’t win a Super Bowl with the Cowboys, it’s fitting he finished his career with one. He was a winning player, an upstanding teammate and arguably the greatest pass rusher in Cowboys history.
With Ware and Chuck Howley getting in, the Cowboys now have 22 members decorating Canton’s hallways.
Howley didn’t start his career with the Cowboys, but was a key part of Cowboys teams that made consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the late 1960s. Further, Howley is still the only player in NFL history to win Super Bowl MVP despite losing the game, and was a first-team All-Pro five straight years in Dallas spanning 1996-70.
Congratulations to both Ware and Howley. What a night for the Cowboys.