Future Hall of Fame defensive end DeMarcus Ware retired earlier this year. He finished with 138.5 sacks, eighth-most all-time. The only player in the top 10 in sacks who is not in the Hall of Fame is Julius Peppers, who is still playing -- Peppers has just five more sacks than Ware despite starting three years earlier.
In six career games against the Seattle Seahawks, Ware had five sacks. As a rookie in 2005, facing the eventual champion Seahawks, Ware was held without a sack. The next time Ware faced Seattle and Hall of Fame left tackle Walter Jones though was Thanksgiving, 2008. Ware beat Jones for two sacks and finished with three on the day as the Dallas Cowboys won 34-9.
Jones, who never got beat, let alone twice in the same game, never played in another game after that day.
You’d think then that maybe Ware would boast about being the player that beat Jones for two sacks and forced him into retirement, but that’s not the case. Not only because Ware is an unusually nice guy, but also probably because Jones really was the best left tackle he ever faced. That’s according to Ware, who named the five best players he ever faced in his 12-year career for The Players’ Tribune:
I’ve never played against another offensive lineman like Walter Jones.
The first time I saw Walter on film was before we played the Seahawks my rookie year. He was grabbing guys and throwing them to the sideline and dumping defensive tackles like they were nothing.
I was like, Oh Lord … who is this guy?
Usually, at the snap, an offensive tackle will kick back and cut off the pass rusher’s lane to the quarterback. But Walter Jones would turn and run with you. He could do that because he was athletic enough to do it. He was like 6-foot-5, 325 pounds, and he could run with just about anybody off the edge. I saw one report that said he ran a 4.67 in the 40-yard dash at a predraft workout. When an O-lineman runs a sub-5.00 40, people say he’s fast.
If that’s the case, Walter Jones was lightning.
Ware added: “When he punched you in the chest, you felt like your heart was going to go flying out of your body.”