Dallas Cowboys Legend DeMarcus Ware Hysterically Explains Why Sacking Philip Rivers Took ’12 Years’

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

DeMarcus Ware finished his career with the Dallas Cowboys as the team’s all-time leader in sacks. He got a hand on most every quarterback in the NFL.

Yet one quarterback proved to be a wily evader of Ware’s best bull rushes.

That’s Philip Rivers, the devout Catholic and father of nine who married his junior high school sweetheart. It seems that same Rivers talked a lot of trash. He promised Ware he’d do anything to avoid becoming one of his sack stats.

Ware told a playful anecdote about Rivers Thursday when Ware was a guest on the “Pat McAfee Show.”

The question posed to Ware: who was the most difficult quarterback to sack?

Ware decisively said Rivers.

“It took me 12 years,” Ware said. “You hear what I said. Twelve years to get a sack on Philip Rivers. Every single time I played him, he talked a lot of trash, by the way. He said ‘DeMarcus you’re never going to get a sack on me.”

Ware said Rivers promised him he’d take an intentional grounding penalty rather than giving Ware the sack satisfaction. That’s hard core. An intentional grounding penalty basically counts the play as a sack. It’s a loss of down. And the ball is marked at the spot where the quarterback threw the ball away.

Or, Rivers said Ware would throw the ball out of bounds or quickly dump it towards the running back’s feet. Those are smart moves for a quarterback who is taught to always live to play another down.

But finally, Ware got him. And it was such a meager sack. By then, Ware played for the Denver Broncos.

“He saw me coming around the corner,” Ware said. “And he laid down. … I still got the sack. “

DeMarcus Ware Has Retired, but Philip Rivers Still Is Around

Ware retired after the 2016 season.

The Cowboys released Ware, who also played defensive end, before the 2014 season. He left the team with 117 sacks and 32 forced fumbles. The sack record stood for three decades before Ware raised the bar.

Ware spent three seasons with Denver. He upped his career sack total to 138.5. He announced his retirement in March, 2017. Ware signed a one-day contract with Dallas, so he officially could retire as a Cowboy.

These days, he’s promoting his fitness app called Driven to Win. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones helped him develop it.

The salty Rivers still is in the NFL. He spent his first 16 seasons with San Diego, but is now the starter for the Indianapolis Colts.

We’re assuming he’s still talking trash and avoiding sacks.