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Former Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware still remembers losing to Giants in 2007

The Dallas Cowboys were heavy favorites in the Divisional Round in 2007 but it was the underdog New York Giants that won on their way to a Super Bowl victory.

DALLAS — DeMarcus Ware always wanted to win a Super Bowl with the Dallas Cowboys.

Although the nine-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro ended up scoring one with the Denver Broncos at the end of the 2015 season, Ware wished he could have won the Big Game while playing for the Cowboys.

"Everybody wants to win the Super Bowl," Ware said on "The Jake Asman Show on SportsMap Radio" Monday. "I wanted to win one with the Dallas Cowboys."

The best chance in Ware's tenure with the Cowboys from 2005-13 was in the 2007 season. The Cowboys matched their best record in club history in a 16-game season with a 13-3 mark. Not only had the Cowboys locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but they swept the New York Giants in the regular season.

After a 24-14 beating of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road, the 10-6 wild-card Giants were coming into Texas Stadium for a sugar game against Dallas and their 13 Pro Bowlers, including Ware.

"At the time and I was like, 'We're going to win the Super Bowl,'" Ware said. "'There was nothing nobody can do to stop us.' We already had beat the Giants twice that season. So, we like crushed them."

In the divisional playoffs, the Giants upset the Cowboys 21-17, rendering Dallas as the first NFC No. 1 seed since the 1990 playoff restructuring to lose its first game of the postseason, a note that "sticks" with Ware even unto this day.

Said Ware: "I felt we would have won the Super Bowl that year, and the Giants win one. And I was like, 'Oh, man. Are you kidding me?' So, those were one of the biggest moments for me. Going 13-3, I'd never been 13-3 before, and playing on a team like that with great guys like [Tony] Romo, [Jason] Witten, Bradie James. You name it."

The former 2005 first-round pick from Troy produced 14 sacks, 17 tackles for loss, 26 quarterback hits, three pass breakups, and four forced fumbles in his 16 starts for Dallas in 2007. In the playoff loss to the Giants, Ware had four tackles and 1.0 sack, but an offside on a third-and-5 on the Giants' opening drive that resulted in a more manageable third-and-1.

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New York was able to easily pick up the yard, and receiver Amani Toomer scored a 52-yard touchdown on the next play that was chock full of missed tackles by the Cowboys. The Giants took a 7-0 lead, but more importantly, got easy points off a chunk play that proved the difference in the game.

For Ware, the only consolation from the loss, the last playoff game in Texas Stadium history, is that the Giants would go on to win the Super Bowl by knocking off the undefeated New England Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLI in Glendale, Ariz.

"If they didn't win the Super Bowl, I would have been a little pissed," said Ware. "If you don't go and win, it's like, 'We could have beat them easy. We beat them twice already. We just had a bad game.' But I'm glad that they went on and won, especially bringing it to the NFC East at the end of the day. That's a big thing, too. So, I'm glad that they won that."

Ware, 38, has spent the last three years developing a fitness app called Driven 2 Win. Ware appears in the app as a fitness coach and motivator, bringing to life one of the parts of pro football he misses the most.

"It's the locker room, being in the locker room and being able to change guys, motivate them every single year, being a captain for 12 years," Ware said.

What are your favorite memories of DeMarcus Ware and the 2007 Cowboys? Share ‘em with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.