Defensive end Stephen Bowen retires after 10 seasons

Defensive end Stephen Bowen, who played for three NFL teams during a 10-year career, announced his retirement Wednesday morning.

Bowen, 32, spent his first five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, followed by four with the Washington Redskins and one year, his final one in the NFL, with the New York Jets.

Bowen rose from undrafted free agent with the Cowboys to a key starter with Washington on its 2012 NFC East title team. Bowen started all 16 games in his first two years with Washington, including in 2012, before knee issues limited him to a combined 18 games in his final two seasons with the Redskins. But he made an impact, serving as a team captain for their division-winning squad.

"I started playing football at the age of 7," Bowen said Wednesday. "Since then, it has been my outlet, my place of comfort, and it has brought me great joy.

"Ten years is a long time. My body is getting sore."

Bowen, who played at Hofstra, was mostly a reserve in Dallas, starting 11 games. Nine of those starts were in 2010, prompting the Redskins to sign him as a free agent after the season.

He started one game with the Jets last season while appearing in 15.

Bowen and his wife lost their infant son Skyler in July 2011 to complications from a premature birth. That prompted Bowen to start Skyler's Gift Foundation, designed to help families facing a similar tragedy. That same year, Bowen's mother-in-law died. Despite this, Bowen started all 16 games and teammates voted him the Redskins' recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.

Bowen finished his career with 12.5 sacks, six coming in 2011.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.