Dec 15, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) in action against the Green Bay Packers at AT

Tough Decisions Await Demarcus Ware: Dallas Cowboys News


Demarcus Ware has simply been the best player on the Dallas Cowboys for the past 7 years. In fact, he’s been one of the best players in the entire NFL for those years. He’s a role model, a class act, and a probable Hall of Famer. So why would a tough decision await our favorite Cowboy?

Because he counts $16M against the cap and he’s coming off his worst season as a pro – that’s why. The decision on Ware will all come down to the medical staff. Was it injuries that slowed Ware in 2013, or did he just lose a step? If he lost a step and cannot be an effective rusher the Cowboys will need to cut the man. If it’s mostly injuries then he deserves another chance. It’s as simple as that.

Ware will count $16M against the Cap in 2014. Designating him as a June 1st cut will save the Cowboys $13M next season. This is a substantial amount of money given the Cowboys Salary Cap situation. The Cowboys must  put aside sentiment and objectively analyze the situation. If Ware can be a double-digit sack-man in 2014 then he’s worth keeping. If he indeed lost a few steps too many, and can’t become an effective rusher, he must be cut.

Trade Ware?

Coming off his worst season and playing under his current contract Demarcus Ware is untradeable. The Cowboys would love get something for him but he has no value under his current deal. If the Cowboys choose to cut Ware, suitors will be lined up for blocks because Ware is extremely desirable…under the right deal.

Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) celebrates after recovering a fumble with linebacker Trent Cole (58) in the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT

Pay Cut?

Keep dreaming. Only in extreme circumstances do players actually take pay cuts, and even then,  they do not give up guaranteed money.

Doug Free is an extreme circumstance who took less money for a shot at re-proving himself. Keep in mind, he still didn’t give up any guaranteed cash, he just spread it out. The move worked out for him too. Free should feel fairly secure in his job heading into the offseason.

Ware has already come out and said he will not take a paycut. He earned his deal. It’s up to the Cowboys to decide if last season was a fluke or if it is just a sign of things to come. At the end of the day, we all must admit Ware has lost a step (or two), but what coaches and medical staff must decide is if can he still be effective as a pass rusher, even with the lost step(s).

Restructure Ware?

The only solution is to kick the can further down the road (aka the Highway to Hell). If the team decides he can still be effective, they can push the money back on the deal and save $8.5M. This seems like the most logical choice and least risky. Again, given the Dallas Cowboys’ fear of the unknown, it is the most likely move. Whatever the right move is, remains to be seen. Have we seen the last of Ware in a Cowboys uniform?

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

 

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  • Juanito Juanito

    a good and real GM will cut ware after june 1, he is cap casualty, out of position, there are some very good DE who can play betwen 5-7 millions for season, cowboys need that money

    • Old Frog

      A good and real GM would have traded Ware before last year’s draft.

  • Chesney Blair

    Thank him for his services unless he accepts a significant pay reduction, cut him. You can’t pay the big bucks for a player who is oft-injured and is on the decline.