Former edge rusher DeMarcus Ware, who played in Denver from 2014-16 and helped lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl 50 title, is now one step away from earning a gold jacket and bronze bust to cap his football career.
On Thursday, Ware was announced as one of 15 Modern-Era nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2022, putting him at the threshold of being a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
The Hall of Fame's Selection Committee will decide the group of inductees ahead of Super Bowl LVI and announced the class during the "NFL Honors" program on Feb. 10.
Ware's career places him among the best pass rushers in league history, as he ranks ninth in career sacks since the NFL began officially tracking the stat in 1982.
He began that stellar career with a storied run in Dallas, where he racked up 117 sacks in 141 games with the Cowboys. Ware was a seven-time Pro Bowler during that span and also earned four first-team and three second-team All-Pro selections.
After the Cowboys released him following the 2013 season, Ware found a new home in Denver was able to finally marry exceptional individual success with team success.
After signing with the Broncos in free agency, Ware recorded 10 sacks in 2014 for the eighth double-digit sack season of his career. He followed up that Pro Bowl season with another, as he helped Denver's defense reach historic levels.
In 2015, Ware battled through injuries for 7.5 sacks in 11 games and then proceeded to dominate during Denver's run to Super Bowl 50. He recorded 3.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hits and a fumble recovery in Denver's three games. His seven quarterback hits on Tom Brady in the AFC Championship were instrumental in reaching the title game, and with two sacks in the Super Bowl, Ware was indispensable as the Broncos won their third Super Bowl.
In his final season, Ware added four sacks to bring his career total to 138.5, along with 657 total tackles, 229 quarterback hits, 35 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries, three interceptions and three defensive touchdowns.
If Ware is selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he will be the eighth former Broncos player to be inducted in the past six years, joining Peyton Manning, John Lynch, Steve Atwater, Champ Bailey, Ty Law, Brian Dawkins and Terrell Davis. Ware would also be the third former Bronco in the last four years to become a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Flip back through photos of DeMarcus Ware's Broncos career, from when he signed as a free agent to winning Super Bowl 50 and beyond.