Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs with the ball against Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus ware (94) in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium. The Eagle beat the Cowboys 24-22. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Cut All-Pro DeMarcus Ware; Could Return

It now appears that the Dallas Cowboys and defensive end DeMarcus Ware will be parting ways. Several sources are now reporting that the Cowboys will cut Ware after an attempt to reduce his salary. The seven-time Pro Bowler was scheduled to make $26 million within the next two years. Upon his release, Dallas is expected to free up an estimated $7.4 million of salary cap space that can be used immediately to sign free agents.

The biggest free agent name floating around that could land in Dallas is defensive tackle Henry Melton.The Texas native is coming off a injury-shorten season and a recent arrest for an alleged assault. But the 27-year old Melton is also a Pro Bowl caliber player who had his best season under current Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli..

As for Ware, it is expected he’ll garner a lot of attention from NFL teams in free agency. In his nine-year career, the former first round pick of the Cowboys in 2005 has compiled an amazing 117.5 sacks. That’s a franchise record. But Ware recorded a career low six sacks last season, missing three games due to a quad injury. It was the first time he had ever missed a game due to injury as a professional. Ware is also coming off recent elbow surgery. The lack of production for the soon-to-be 32-year old and his recent bout of injuries were both reasons the Cowboys wanted him to take a pay cut this offseason. But Ware refused, opting to become a free agent. Here’s how Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones described the situation after the announcement, as he left the door open for a possible Ware return:

“”DeMarcus and I agreed on an understanding that would allow him to explore the options he will have for the 2014 season and beyond. We were also in very strong agreement that playing for the Dallas Cowboys would be one of the options we would both be exploring…A decision like this, involving a man who is a cornerstone player in the history of your franchise, is extremely difficult…He is worthy of our greatest respect, and we want what is best for him and his family.””

Despite today’s events and beyond, Ware will always be remembered as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, defensive player in the franchise’s storied history. His place in the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame is all but assured. He will always be remembered as a Cowboy, regardless of where he plays next.

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