- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) - Stephen Bowen returned to the Washington Redskins’ practice facility to announce his retirement in front of a few former teammates.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins, defensive linemen Kedric Golston and Chris Baker watched as Bowen called it a career In an emotional speech that referenced the death of his son, Skylar, in 2011. Bowen, 32, played 10 NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Redskins and New York Jets.

“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.”

Bowen appeared in 128 NFL games, starting 57, and recorded 176 tackles and 12 1/2 sacks.

“Ten years is a long time,” Bowen said. “My body is getting sore.”

With family members watching and recording video, Bowen recounted how he went from a kid in Wheatley Heights, New York, to Hofstra to the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. Bill Parcells noticed him, but the Redskins gave him an opportunity to start every game in 2011 and 2012.

His fondest memory was beating Dallas in Week 17 in 2012 to win the NFC East. With Bowen serving as a captain, the Redskins won seven consecutive games to make the playoffs.

“That run that we went on, I’ve never been part of a team so special like that,” Bowen said. “No matter what game we played, we just knew that we had the confidence to win.”

Bowen finished his career with the Jets, playing 15 games last season. He and his family are settled in New York City.

“That’s where we’ll always call home,” he said.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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