Dallas Cowboys: Is DeMarcus Ware the Best Pass-Rusher in the NFL?

Peter MatarazzoContributor IOctober 1, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 23:   Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for an open receiver under pressure from  DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16-0. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

If watching the New York Giants win two Super Bowls in a four-year period has taught us anything, it's definitely the significance of being able to rush the passer.

Where once upon a time teams were defined by running the ball, today's game is defined by the ability to deliver aerial onslaughts. So for defenses, having a premier pass-rusher is necessary but hard to find.

The NFL currently boasts a stellar roster of pass-rushers featuring Jason Pierre-Paul, Jared Allen, Julius Peppers, Trent Cole, Clay Matthews and Aldon Smith to name a few, but one name still reigns supreme. DeMarcus Ware is the best pass-rusher in the NFL. Great pass-rushers have never been more valuable as they are today, and Ware is certainly worthy of that honor. 

Ware has set the standard in the NFL since entering the league in 2005. As an edge pass-rusher, it's a matter of when and not if he will make his mark in a game. Heading into his eighth season with the Cowboys, Ware has compiled a massive body of work; he's been a durable leader, fearless warrior and consummate teammate. 

Heading into the matchup against the Chicago Bears, Ware has amassed 103.5 sacks, and started 114 out of 115 games, since 2005. Ware has also had double-digit sacks in each of his last six seasons, and it's that type of consistency that will make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer one day.

You want more evidence that Ware is the best pass-rusher in the NFL?

How about 14-plus sacks four different times and six straight Pro Bowl appearances. In 2011, he finished second in the league with 19.5 sacks while facing a steady diet of double- and, at times, triple-teams.

When you watch Ware play at his best, you can see that explosive element to his game. He's long, athletic and he's the prototype 3-4 outside linebacker because of those attributes.

Ware is now 30 years old, and there will be a day in the near future when Jason Pierre-Paul or another young gun overtakes the title as best pass-rusher. But they must also prove the sustainability that Ware has proved over the years and stay healthy to do so.

Tabbing Ware as the best pass-rusher in football is currently not up for debate. Some will argue otherwise and make solid arguments, but Ware has earned his billing. It's not only for his tangible achievements but also for the intangibles he brings to the table as well.

He's the complete package. That not only makes him the best pass-rusher in the league, but also a top five player.