D (Ring-of-Fame) Ware?

beware-of-the-demarcus-ware-hype-train-4A shout out to @Nick for starting D-Ware’s retirement announcement thread and to @Rhett for sharing an Andrew Mason tweet about D-Ware’s Ring of Fame (in)eligibility.

That sub-thread combined with my own thoughts on the value D-Ware brought to the team got me to thinking… Does Demarcus Ware really belong in the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame?

To be fair, technically he’s not eligible as ROF candidates need a minimum of four years on a Broncos roster. However, hear me out. After the fold, I might make you consider him worth a rule change. ‘Might’ being the operative word. 🙂

Full disclosure, I am a HUGE D-Ware fan and am openly in favor of his enshrinement both in Canton and at Mile High. I’ve been a huge proponent of keeping Demarcus Ware on this team’s roster, regardless of cost (within reason of course) for all the intangibles he has brought since signing with the Broncos in the 2014.

To be fair though, I think the most objective approach is to look at his career as a Denver Bronco from a statistical measure:

Regular Season: 67 Games Played, 1 Int, 3 FF, 1 FR, 21.5 Sacks, 63 Tackles, 22 Assisted Tackles.
Post-Season: 4 Games Played, 1 FR, 3.5 Sacks, 8 Tackles, 6 Assisted Tackles.
2-Pro Bowl Selections
3-Time Defensive Captain
Superbowl 50 Champion

Not a bad resume for 3 years. Especially when you compare it to an already enshrined Ring of Famer who only had a 4 year career as a Bronco.

Then, there is the intangibles:

Guy who answers the phone when the President of the United States calls.

It took sports writers more than a decade to come around on the idea that longevity was overrated when it came to all time greatness. Sometimes you really can catch lightening in a bottle. Demarcus Ware may go down as one of the greatest leaders on the greatest defense in NFL history. Do you really want to have that 1st ballot Hall of Fame inductee NOT on the rafters at Mile High?

I say he get’s in just because of this:


Thanks for EVERYTHING D-Ware.

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I'm a social worker by day and candle maker by night. I grew up in the 80's & 90's in Denver, live in Up-Sate New York where I had an illustrious one year college football career at a D1AA school that finished third worse in the nation. I've been a Broncos fan since the day I yelled at John Elway at camp in Greeley that it was, "time for you to shave". Mile HIGH enthusiast, sorry to disappoint, but Kush-Lash is only Jerry McGuire reference.

  • Nick

    The question that I’d ask the Broncos is simple: why 4 years? What’s the significance of that length that 3 or less can’t accomplish? If 2012 Peyton Manning had the statistics of 2013 Peyton Manning and the Super Bowl ring of 2015 Manning, then decided to immediately retire, why wouldn’t that be enough to go down in the upper annals of Broncos history?

    I am more than willing to listen to arguments against Ware that are divorced from the tenure requirement, but those arguments are going to have to answer to John Lynch’s inducting. The contributions of Ware and Lynch are very similar. Is one season really that big of a difference in comparing the two?

    • gobroncos

      I don’t think Lynch or Ware should be in the ring of fame. Too short of careers with the Broncos. If another team puts them in THEIR ring of fame for having done more with that team than they did with the Broncos, then they shouldn’t be in the Ring of fame. The Broncos Ring of Fame is about BRONCOS players that no one else can claim. They’re Broncos through and through. I’ll accept short stints with other teams because in today’s day and age of free agency it nearly unavoidable.

      • Jeremy

        How do you feel about Gary Zimmerman? He played 7 years in Minnesota, and 5 in Denver, including 1 super bowl victory. He was a 4 time probowler, 2 time all pro in Min, and only 3 time probowler, 1 time all pro in Denver.

        • Rollston Frangopoulos

          That’s borderline. He made his reputation in Minnesota as a good player (which is why we traded for him), but of course going to a Superbowl and playing well for the Broncos for those ears made him more popular. I’d probably be inclined not to, but he was a key element to those teams. Ring of Fame should be pretty selective for players that were Broncos through and through.

          Atwater, no problem. Shannon Sharp, no problem. Those guys only had 1 or 2 year stints with other teams.

          I didn’t realize we traded away Vance Johnson to get him. One of the three amigos! Dang. He was one of my favorite players. Interesting that over the course of Zimm’s career, teams traded away (2) 1st round picks, (2) 2nd round picks, and a 6th round pick. That’s a lot of draft capitol. None of the guys drafted at those positions ring a bell though: Mark Collins, Greg Lasker, DeWayne Washington, Andrew Jordan, Orlando Thomas,

          • John

            Yeah, the Broncos traded away Vance Johnson, but the Vikes cut him, and he came back to Denver. Then, after spending 1994 somewhere else (I think he signed with SD, but I don’t know what happened to him), he came back in 1995 (Tyrone Braxton also came back that year after a year in Miami).

        • Russ

          It does feel like the Broncos are less selective with their ROF than most teams. To my knowledge, Zim is not in the Vikings ROF, despite the above credentials. Of course, winning a super bowl does significantly help him qualify.

    • T. Jensen

      I agree, I think some of the rules should be more guidelines. I’d love for Darrent Williams to be put in the ROF as well.

  • Kyle Milligan

    I love it! Put his ass on the ROF, I say.
    Was a huge fan of his in Dallas, and moreso when he started playing for the good guys. I was almost as excited about his signing in Denver as when we signed PMFM.

    Best moment was pictured in the article.
    NUmber 2 was that one regular season FR you mentioned, which was @ Cincy in OT.

  • Yahmule
  • Kyle Milligan

    I’m rewatching SB 50, and Ware damn near had a post season touchdown instead of Malik.

  • Rob Rooney

    Put me in the ‘no’ camp. I love D-Ware as a player and a leader (of men), but I just don’t see him as a ROF. I think he will and should be in the HOF and will and should be in the Dallas ROF(or whatever they call it).

    The issue for me is that ROF should be special and limited, and while D-Ware was a good player he wasn’t great enough. I don’t think Lynch deserved it either. It isn’t about time, but about impact. To me the impact wasn’t enough for ROF, but I also don’t think we would have won SB50 without him (and others).

    Also, I think you have an error in the regular season games played. I’m guessing you meant 37 and not 67 games, since he was injured for a few. Or maybe these are just ‘alternative facts’!

    • Kush-Lash

      Good catch. It is 37 games.

  • Paco Alonzo

    I say we put him in Von might not even be in the league if it wasn’t for his guidance.