Nov 22, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) is hit by Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) during a game on Thanksgiving at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys: DeMarcus Ware - Thanks for the Memories!

For Cowboy Nation, DeMarcus Ware is a sensitive subject. I love Ware as a player and as a Cowboy, but it’s time to let him go. It’s a financial issue. Ware is going to be 32 years old next season and will make $12.2 million and count $16 million against the salary cap. Last season, Ware had six sacks. Ware would have to be the NFL sack leader to justify his salary, it’s an impossible task.

Robert Quinn of the St. Louis Rams led the NFL with 19 sacks. He plays the same right defensive end position as Ware, but Quinn is 23 years old. In 2014, Quinn’s salary will cost the Rams $3 million according to OverTheCap.com. Ware will make three times Quinn’s salary, the math just doesn’t work.

Now, the question becomes – Can the Cowboys replace Ware’s production from the draft?

NFL Rookie Defensive End Regular Season Sack Leaders By Year

Name

Draft Position

Year

Sacks

Ezekial Ansah – Detroit

1st Round / 5th

2013

8

Bruce Irvin – Seattle

1st Round / 15th

2012

8

Jabaal Sheard – Cleveland

2nd Round / 37th

2011

8.5

Carlos Dunlap – Cincinnati

2nd Round / 54th

2010

9.5

Conner Barwin – Houston

2nd Round / 46th

2009

4.5

Cliff Avril – Detroit

3rd Round / 92nd

2008

5

Four rookie defensive ends exceeded Ware’s six sack total. When the Cowboys cut Ware, it’s possible that a rookie will replace or exceed Ware’s production from last year at an extremely lower cost. Let’s look at Ezekial Ansah’s salary.

Ezekial Ansah’s Salary Current Structure from OverTheCap.com

Year

Base Salary

Prorated Bonus

Cap Number

2013

$405,000.00

$2,975,818.00

$3,380,818.00

2014

$1,250,205.00

$2,975,818.00

$4,226,023.00

2015

$2,095,410.00

$2,975,818.00

$5,071,228.00

2016

$2,940,615.00

$2,975,818.00

$5,916,433.00

If Jerry Jones doesn’t cut Ware, everyone will criticize him for financially damaging the Cowboys future by continuously overpaying an aging, under-performing athlete. If he does cut Ware, there will be a section of Cowboy Nation that will criticize him for lack of “loyalty”. As general manager, you have to make tough decisions that help the team win now and in the future. As fans, you have to understand that some moves, however unpopular, are for the good of the team. Nothing personal, it’s business.

I’d prefer the Cowboys take a chance with an affordable, younger defensive end with a promising future over a higher priced fading star who’s best days are possibly behind him – and you should too.

DeMarcus Ware – Thanks for the memories.

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