DeMarcus Ware is a Dallas icon and now thanks to his success in Super Bowl 50, he's both a Denver icon and a cemented-in future Hall-of-Famer, too. He's a favorite of Cowboys fans, and of the Jones family, and the last time I checked with him his sadness over leaving Dallas two years ago was largely tied to his family decision to leave his children in DFW while "Daddy went to work.''
As of right now, Daddy plans on staying at work. With the Denver Broncos.
“I’ve got a lot of gas in the tank,” Ware said after Super Bowl 50, as he helped Denver upset Carolina, 24-10.
Ware will always have ties in DFW, but understandably, he has a brotherhood with Von Miller and his Broncos mates now.
“Von was the one that added the gas to the fire for me,” Ware said. “That’s why I’m playing the way I’m playing right now. I don’t think about retiring. God still wants me to play. That’s why I’m still doing what I’m doing.”
Since joining the Broncos prior to the 2014 season, Ware has complied 17.5 sacks and 50 total tackles. But his classy style of leadership -- and the connection Ware made with Super Bowl MVP Von Miller -- is just as important. When Ware went to Denver (the result of Jerry and Stephen Jones' very painful decision to release him to benefit their salary cap) Miller was in the NFL’s substance abuse program.
“He’s a leader, big brother to me,” Miller said in his Super Bowl MVP press conference Monday morning. “To help him achieve greatness is one of the best moments of my life.”
Naturally, the Broncos are targeting more greatness and keeping the gang together is always a consideration. I've already written on how Peyton Manning is unlikely to be back there (and how much the Browns owner would like to hook up) and in the sense, Ware is the Broncos' defensive version of Manning ... especially in the cap sense. Ware is scheduled to make $7 million in base salary next season and he's currently on pace to cost the Broncos a total of $11.7 million in cap space. (That includes a $3 mil bonus if he's still around a few days after the opening of NFL business on March 9 ... so the clock will tick.) Denver, with 16 players who will be unrestricted free agents this offseason, must look for ways to shave down some of these numbers. If Ware is a cap victim again? A Ware-Cowboys reunion would be an emotional one ... and ironically, the release of Ware two years ago is precisely among the reasons the Cowboys -- able to carve out $48 million of cap room this spring if needed -- could afford him now. But ... the Cowboys thought he was running out of gas at 31. Now he's 33. And if his price tag is in excess of, say, $7 million, will you be paying $1 million per sack as you did with Greg Hardy? And maybe Ware excelled in Denver because he's so well-suited to play in Wade Phillips' 3-4 and less so here?
For now, though, the D-Ware isn't a Dallas story. It's a Denver story ... and he's now as iconic in that town as he is in this one.