Dallas -- Former Cowboys great DeMarcus Ware has called it a career. Ware tweeted his intentions Monday afternoon.

Ware calling it quits after 12 NFL seasons, including his first nine in the league with the Cowboys, in which he established himself as one of the most productive edge pass rushers in league history.

Ware included a note in the tweet, saying in part, "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 I once had."

The 34 year-old was taken by the Cowboys with the 11th overall pick in the 2005 draft.

He was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 when he recorded a league-leading 20 sacks. He also led the league in 2010 and for his career racked up 138.5 sacks, the eighth best total in NFL history.

NEW ORLEANS - DECEMBER 19: Linebacker DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates with defensive ends Jay Ratliff (R) #90 and Stephen Bowen (L) #72 after a sack against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on December 19, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** DeMarcus Ware;Jay Ratliff;Stephen Bowen

Ware left the Cowboys after the 2013 season, joining the Broncos where he earned a Super Bowl title. Ware was named NFL All-Pro four times, and played in 9 Pro Bowls.


“DeMarcus was everything we could have ever wanted in a player, a person and a representative of the Cowboys organization. He was one of the most dominant NFL players at his position in his era, and he was one of the most dynamic players in the history of the Dallas Cowboys. We wish nothing but the best for DeMarcus and his family, and we appreciate and respect his contributions to the NFL and to our team."