It doesn’t even seem possible that the Dallas Cowboys could end up losing the best defensive player in the game because they are cash strapped from signing big-name talent to huge contracts that haven’t produced wins.
DeMarcus Ware has one year left on his rookie contract, and he has become the hottest defensive player in the league, increasing his sack totals every year since he came on board.
Although the Cowboys brass have said they want to make Ware a top priority this offseason, they may not be able to do that. And if they do, don’t expect the Cowboys to make any splashes in the 2009 draft, because they won’t have the dough to sign these rookies.
Jerry Jones has already said that releasing Terrell Owens wasn’t that feasible because the cap hit would chip away at the funds the Cowboys have to sign Ware. In fact, releasing Owens could very well make it impossible to sign Ware this year, which by next year he’d be a “restricted” free agent, which means teams would have to give up some picks to get him.
To compare, the Indianapolis Colts gave Dwight Freeney a six-year deal worth $72 million. Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, has a six-year,$74 million contract with a whopping $31 million guaranteed.
Stephen Jones, team vice president, said the Cowboys are expected to have $10 million in cap space, but a lot of this would be taken by rookies they draft, if they even decide to draft any. The $10 million won’t be enough to sign Ware anyway. He’ll likely get $13 million a year.
The Cowboys could do a lot of trading this 2009 draft in order to secure money to sign Ware. That means no reliable backup quarterback, no safety and no offensive line help.