With the Dallas Cowboys releasing DeMarcus Ware and Miles Austin has been told he will be released, Dallas owner Jerry Jones didn’t give fans any indication of what he was going to do with the additional funds he has created by cutting the two-longtime Cowboys.
With Ware gone, the urgency for defensive lineman has reached a critical point. Anthony Spencer and Jason Hatcher are also on the market so do we bring those players back? Julius Peppers was recently released by the Chicago Bears so is Jones looking at him as a replacement. Justin Tuck of the New York Giants is also available. With so many possibilities, who is going to be on the line for the Cowboys in 2014? The current roster is filled with players that are listed as defensive ends and defensive tackles but most are backups. The only legitimate starter is George Selvie. So it would appear the Cowboys would have to sign at least one of the two unrestricted free agents in Spencer or Hatcher. Tuck and Peppers are looking for the money that the Cowboys don’t have and the other thing, Peppers is about the same age as Ware. Not saying age was a factor in Ware’s release but why put up a big payday for a player that wouldn’t be able to finish a long term contract?
The Cowboys releasing of Ware could have easily not happened but Ware basically said put up or shut up? I don’t blame him for wanting an answer from management. This way he can test the free agent market fairly. If nothing was said, Jones would have sat on it and dragged the process out to the point of it being ridiculous.
So that still leaves the question…who will take the place of Ware? That question will not be an easy answer. With the draft two months away, will Jones sit and wait for a draft pick? That is a possibility but the draft isn’t talent rich as far as first round talent. Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina) is the top rated defensive end while Kony Ealy (Missouri) ranks second, according to CBSsports.com. I don’t see Dallas picking any defensive ends in the first two rounds as a matter of fact, I think Dallas will trade their first round pick and get some lower round picks out of the trade. Getting extra picks is more a financial move than a move about the roster as Jones can get cheaper talent with those extra picks. I am still high on Jackson Jeffcoat from Texas. Trent Murphy from Stanford and Kareem Martin from North Carolina are solid second- to third-round picks.
As this piece was being written, it was discovered via theBleacherreport.com that Dallas is looking at Henry Melton to fill their defensive tackle problems. Melton is a local guy, played high school in the Metroplex and also college ball at Texas University. Jason Hatcher is still a possibility but look for the Cowboys to nab Melton first then Hatcher.
As the social media outlets were combed yesterday, it was pretty obvious of the comments as they were wondering what Jones was thinking? That can be asked those many years ago when he let go of Troy Aikman, who retired instead of testing the market. And don’t forget having to see Emmitt Smith finish his career in a Cardinals uniform. With Ware already having a visit to Denver, we are lucky that we will not have to see that in 2014 but it is just a visit so there is no telling where he will end up.
The only true thing we know as fans is that things are as uncertain as ever when it comes to this team and its roster for the upcoming season. Do we expect anything less?