Nov 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin (19) is unable to catch a pass against New York Giants strong safety Antrel Rolle (26) during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Which Dallas Cowboys Veterans are on the Hot Seat?

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

The Dallas Cowboys are a top heavy team. Their depth chart has been ridiculed on a regular basis. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones love to have the flashy new toy, and he pays for it. In turn, the Cowboys and their fan base suffers. If a high-priced (and most times overpaid) starter goes down, the money has never been there to sign and retain quality depth. Considering the offseason is in full swing, it’s never too early to talk about the Cowboys’ roster, and the players that need to pick it up or be shown the door.

Miles Austin

This one should not be a surprise to anyone. Miles Austin spent the majority of the 2013 season injured and unable to contribute. The downsides are many with Austin, and upsides are few. He aging, rookie Terence Williams showed real promise in support of the Cowboys receiving corps while Austin was out, his contract is HUGE and there are plenty more receivers on Dallas’ roster ready to move up the depth chart. Unfortunately, Austin may not get a chance to prove he can still hold his own.

Brandon Carr

The Cowboys secondary got torched last year, and guys like Brandon Carr were left out to dry. This is not to say he should be sent packing, but Carr had a lackluster season. Only grabbing three interceptions for a secondary that needed playmakers badly was just not enough considering the size of his contract. It wasn’t bad, but when you’re paid like a superstar, you should be all over the field. Carr did enough, but the output needs to be higher, even if teams don’t attack him as much as other corners. Great players make plays, regardless of the circumstances.

DeMarcus Ware

With DeMarcus Ware, people are going to say, “He played through injury all year.” This is true, and yet he will still find himself on the hot seat if he has another lackluster season. The problem with being a beast and outperforming yourself year after year is when you start to falter a little, people already have high expectations for you. You can’t afford to be hurt, and that’s what’s happening to Ware right now. If he can get his body right this offseason, and have a season to quite the critics, you can almost certainly expect the cries for more to quiet down. Now we just need to keep Jerry and Co. from overpaying him when his current deal is up.

These are only three veterans on a roster full of high priced starters. Anyone I left off? Jump on the comment section and let hear what you have to say.

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Tags: Brandon Carr Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Jerry Jones Miles Austin

  • aerdna smailliw

    Witten’s declining production should be highlighted also. He had a ton of receptions but for years now his YAC has been slowing to the point it became just 1 yard last season. Escobar was drafted foe a reason , put him and Hanna on the field so we can at least see what they can do.

    • Th3Bill

      While I would agree that Witten’s production may be down from previous years, 73 receptions for 850+ yards and 8 TDs is an excellent year for a TE. I would blame part of it from us having a rushing attack this year and the emergence of Cole Beasley as a short yardage specialist.

      Escobar is weak in the blocking scheme and hasn’t shown the kind of fight for the ball like Witten has….granted it was just his rookie season, but he was unable to make ANY ground on Hanna really. Do I like what he has potential wise? Yes. Would I consider cutting Witten based on it? No.

      Personally, I think Ware and Austin are the biggest hot-seat contenders. My third would be Carr, but with virtually NO pass rush and 2 rookies playing S, it’s hard to fully fault him 100%. Virtually ANY NFL QB can complete a pass if he can stand back and wait to a count of 10 mississippi.

      I say that Bruce Carter is definitely hot seat. Sure, he’s small money at this point, but he’s in a contract year, and he needs to prove he can use his athleticism they say he has to cover TE and RB.

      I’d also mention Sean Lee. I know many will be like “Wha??”, but hear me out. Is he one of the best at his position when healthy? Yes…easily top 5 IMO. The problem is the last 2 words of my statement…WHEN HEALTHY. He has yet to play 16 games, and what’s worse, the last 2 seasons, he played less than half the games! He’s our Defensive QB, making sure everyone’s in position at the time of nap, which presents a problem when he is out for lengthy periods of time…and anyone who can’t see that has more problems than our D did in 2013. I hate to say it, but unless we can figure out how to keep him from getting hurt, this team looks to have a rough run of it. Almost better off having a Very Good Mid LB (as compared to a Great Lee) and have him for entire season.

      • Juanito Juanito

        just curious how you said carr need pass rush help to be better, sean lee need DTs and DE help in run to be healthy, when cowboys fix the dline all defese will be better and healthy

        • Th3Bill

          Ok….your response is totally odd and confusing.

          You want to know why Brandon Carr would need pass rush help? Interesting you would ask that….seeing as even an ELITE CB will struggle to cover an ELITE WR for 10 seconds. With no pressure to make the QB force a throw, he has time to scan the field and wait for the WR to get more open. Simple why pass rush would help….get pressure on QB and you get forced throws. Interesting how you answer your own question in the last part of your run on sentence and “when cowboys fix the dline all defese will be better” (your words)….so tell me why again you don’t understand how Brandon Carr would need more help from the pass rush?

          Answer me this….HOW ON EARTH would you equate Sean Lee’s health to our DL? Are you seriously saying that Sean Lee’s TOE injury in 2012 (which caused him to miss all but 6 games) or his HAMSTRING injury this year are the fault of the DL? I’m seriously confused as to how you could equate a soft tissue injury that usually happens due to improper conditioning/stretching or a TOE injury that included a torn ligament would be due to the DL.

          I agree that the DL does need to be fixed, but to say that it will make Carter, Lee, Claiborne, Church, and Durant healthy just makes no sense. Will it make the defense better? Yes, but it won’t stop players from being injured…

    • Chesney Blair

      He had some important uncharacteristic drops as well which was very frustrating. Almost mule like speed now too.

      • Th3Bill

        Even though he is slower than in the past….still easily our most productive and best blocking TE…and certainly not one of the players where we can say “Yes, replacing him right now improves our team from today on”. Until Escobar or Hanna can prove they are more competent blockers, I see Witten with a star on his helmet.

        • Chesney Blair

          I agree, just pointing out that he is declining. Still one of the best te in the league but we have to note his production went down this year and is at the end of his career. Jason Witten is a first ballot HOF TE and gave so much to the Cowboys. You still have to evaluate players on year to year basis. Yesterday’s production doesn’t mean much on today’s field.