photo - DeMarcus Ware forces Tom Brady to throw incomplete - The Denver Broncos fell to the New England Patriots 16-3 Sunday, December 18, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
DeMarcus Ware forces Tom Brady to throw incomplete - The Denver Broncos fell to the New England Patriots 16-3 Sunday, December 18, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

Half of the time I didn't know if DeMarcus Ware was just trying to pull a fast one.

Some of Ware's explanations — from his belief that red wine had kept him young to the minute details with which he studied football — sounded more like he knew the media game and wanted to give us something good.

So D-Ware checked both journalism boxes — a superb athlete who also happened to be very interesting — and, yes, I appreciate him for that.

All the time the Broncos knew Ware was committed to winning. The ex-Cowboys pass-rushing star announced his retirement Monday via Twitter. His next stop will be at the wine shop for a 1982 Bordeaux and, later, Canton, for a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The nine-time Pro Bowler won Super Bowl 50 with the Broncos, and you could argue his devastation of opposing offenses in the playoffs equaled that of Von Miller.

Ware's 138.5 career sacks rank eighth all-time.

Ware's impact on the Broncos – specifically with Miller — went beyond the white lines, into the locker room and ultimately to the Super Bowl. It's possible, I suppose, that Vonnie Football would have become the superstar he is without John Elway signing Ware to a $30-million deal in March 2014.

Possible, but unlikely. You couldn't go a week at Dove Valley without one of his teammates shouting Ware's praise or lauding his attention to detail.

No one grew more alongside Ware than Miller. Von is on a football bender for the ages with sack totals of 14, 11 and 13.5 in the past three seasons. It's no coincidence his rise coincided with the arrival of Ware, or that Ware's arrival coincided with the worst season of Miller's career, his ghostly 2013 campaign. It's not a huge stretch to say Ware did with the Broncos defense what Peyton Manning did with the Broncos offense, at least in the huddle.

The Broncos brought in Ware to sack the quarterback.

It can't be overstated how much more Ware brought to the Broncos.

Twitter: @bypaulklee

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It's time ... After a lot of thought and prayer, I've decided to accept the unknown and retire from my NFL career. 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. With that, I take this opportunity to thank all of the people in my life who had a hand in molding me into a great player and the God fearing man I am today. I thank the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos for opportunities to experience what greatness feels like. I will miss my teammates, coaches, and fans, who supported me over the years. I’m hanging up my cleats and beginning the journey to my next destination. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7, KJV

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