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Cowboys legends DeMarcus Ware, Darren Woodson named Hall of Fame semifinalists

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Two longtime Cowboys icons are among the 28 modern-day semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023, it was announced this week.

Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware and safety Darren Woodson advance to the next round, as does linebacker Zach Thomas, who spent his final NFL season in Dallas.

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Ware makes the list of semifinalists for his second straight year. The Cowboys’ all-time sackmaster became eligible for enshrinement last year and made it all the way to the final vote. Despite being considered a shoo-in, he was denied the honor of being named a first-ballot Hall of Famer in a snub that shocked many fans.

After nine seasons in Dallas, seven straight pro Bowl appearances, and four first-team All-Pro nods, Ware signed with Denver. He played four more years as a Bronco and won a Super Bowl ring for the 2015 season.

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Woodson knows this part of the journey to Canton quite well. He’s been a semifinalist six times but has never advanced to the next stage. This, despite being the franchise’s all-time leading tackler, a five-time Pro Bowler, a four-time first-team All-Pro, a three-time Super Bowl champion, and just the 21st member of the Cowboys’ prestigious Ring of Honor.

Thomas didn’t wear the star for long, but was well-known to Dallas fans after a stellar college career at Texas Tech. He was a mainstay for 13 seasons in Miami before joining the Cowboys for the 2008 campaign. It proved to be his finale, as he suffered a concussion in training camp with the Chiefs the following year and was released shortly thereafter.

Fifteen Hall of Fame finalists will be revealed in January.

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