Hard Cuts: The Personnel Moves The Dallas Cowboys Must Make

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

If you have ever played franchise mode in the video game “Madden NFL”, you all know too well the joys of playing the front-office mode after the season is over. Playing with cap numbers and contracts, it seems easy to build a champion caliber team with just a few adjustments. Unfortunately for the Dallas Cowboys, they live in the real world and their job is much tougher than it is in the Madden video game. This off-season especially will be tough for the franchise that again had a 3rd straight non-playoff year and facing big cap challenges.

With mounting cap pressures, the best decision for the franchise to do is to let go of some older players and get younger all around. That means having to say good-bye to some players that played really well in past seasons. It will be tough, but the NFL is about what are you doing now, not what have you done in the past. Other than quarterback Tony Romo, who gives you the best chance to win now, here are some veterans that the Cowboys have to bite the bullet on and say good bye.


Demarcus Ware:

This one pains me the most to list, but I know it will be best for the team. Just two years ago, defensive end Demarcus Ware was one of the best pass rushers in all of football. He would constantly give you double-digit sack numbers and offenses would have to double team him all the time. That was a weapon you loved having on your defense. But the facts are his production is dropping off and his injuries are piling up. Until this year, Ware hasn’t missed a game, now he has missed three this year. He has single-digit sack numbers for the first time since his rookie year, and this year’s number is lower than his rookie year. Last year we saw his injuries pile up, and they continued to plague him this season.  Now, he will command a huge salary that will make it harder to sign other players in other areas.  He is set to make a base salary of $12.5 million and will have a cap number around $16 million. The Cowboys can cut him now or after June 1st and get savings of around $8million. You also open up the opportunity to get younger at defensive end and pay the successor much less.  If Ware were willing to take a pay cut like other players have done, that would help too, but he seems unwilling to do that. So, to get better we must say good bye to Ware.


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Tags: Anthony Spencer Cuts Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Front Office Jason Hatcher Jerry Jones Miles Austin Most Popular Off-season Salary Cap Tony Romo

  • Earl Robertson

    Ware needs to take a pay cut like Free did if he doesn’t then he needs to be cut! But I know Jones will not let him go and he will become like another one of these high price injured guys that are so many on this team

  • MCA

    I would hate to see Ware go too, but age and now his injuries are costing Dallas. This is a business, and JJ should know that once a player starts to show age and performance takes a decline. It’s time to start cutting the fat cash back. These long term contracts are hurting our team. Hatcher and Austin are gone.. IMO

  • Ed

    I can’t argue with any of that.

  • Scott Aldridge

    Agree earl, you judge the future from the past and Jerry has shown too much loyalty to star players with diminishing skills. Ware needs to take major pay cut or be cut.

  • Juanito Juanito

    trade or cut ware and give hatcher 18 mill 4 seasons, 9 mill guarantied, he still have a couple good seasons and he is a beast in 4-3, cut miles and let go spencer, ware no fit in 4-3, sadly

  • SmartThinking

    There’s absolutely no guarantee Romo will even be the man he was this year next season. The same back surgery Romo had retired Aikman and he was younger than Romo.

    There’s much to be admired about the Patriots’ approach to treating player personnel when you have a cut-throat influence like Bill Belichek. Unfortunately, we have an owner/GM who hangs onto aging and expensive players who no longer benefit this team.

    Can Jones ever part with Ware, Hatcher and/or Spencer? He did with Emmett Smith. I doubt it. But, even if he does, he’ll never get even their current value in return. And, in the long run, that makes originally selecting these guys a bad financial decision from the get-go.

  • Jack Farguson

    Personally I would like to have Ware and Austin back, in a discounted price of course. Ware can still be that threat but on more of a part time basis, not to mention a good teacher and leader. Austin would be a good backup to the 1 and 2 receivers if one of them went down for a game or two. Part time players making part time money.

  • Jack Farguson

    This draft needs to be DEFENSE. As crummy as Carr played maybe we need to draft his replacement and wish him bon-voyage. He came from a bad team, maybe that’s why they were bad. That would help the CAP

  • MercWithaMouth

    When I read 3rd straight non playoff season I stopped reading. Dallas has had 4 straight non postseasons…. This is like seeing a mock draft that projects a 6th round pick that we don’t have! If you’re going to write an article I would imagine that you would know simple facts like these before putting anything down on the screen and then clicking “save”, c’mon guys

  • Pete Vieira

    I think leadership in the locker room is valuable, hopefully Ware will take a pay cut and stay ,otherwise bye bye ,to him and all the others spoken about .The bigger problem is Jerry and his ineptitude in drafting .Even though first rounder Frederick is a great player, he was a projected third rounder ,no bang for the buck .So whether some of these players stay or go.. really means little ,when the one writing the checks and evaluating the talent is the same person that publicly stated that he has to give the OK first to all decisions. So really Jerry is solely responsible for the cap mess and the horrendous drafting since Parcells and perhaps way before that ,I wish I could say the glass was half full ,but I see it as half empty, either way mediocre . Jerry Must Go or nothing changes.