Friend and fellow Troy University alumni DeMarcus Ware has been one of the top defensive players in football since entering the league in 2005, but he might end up as a free agent this offseason because of salary cap concerns.
Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones said on Monday that the team needs to determine whether Ware, who is 31 missed three games last season, will be worth the large salary he commands. Dallas is nearly $20 million over the projected salary cap and Ware takes up $16 million of the cap. If the Cowboys were to cut the 4-time All-Pro passrusher, that would create around $7 million of space. That’s why the Cowboys are considering the possibility.
“We will address it,” Jones said of Ware’s contract status via ESPN. “We made a change in what he’s doing. We put his hand down [play defensive end], rather than stand him up [play outside linebacker]. That was a change and at the same time, he’s had a tough time getting on the practice field because of various injuries, all of that we have to weigh with how much of that has impacted that for the future as well as where he is with his career and his age.
Those are the ingredients in the stew and we have to stir it up and see where we’re going. It will be a very difficult call for us because of how much salary cap he uses.”
The Cowboys could ask Ware to take a pay cut, or they could attempt to restructure his deal as alternatives to releasing him. Ware seemed to indicate at the end of last season that he might be willing to take a pay cut to help the team.
Ware is such a great player that I would want to bring him back for another season if I were them, even if it were at a high price. With an offseason to recover, he should come into 2014 more healthy. After that point I would be more serious about cutting him, but I think he still is good for another season.