The Dallas Cowboys once again were an average team this year by having an 8-8 record, just like last year. The Cowboys have now missed the playoffs in three straight seasons and whether you want to admit it or not, the team is still in a rebuilding phase from the time Jason Garrett took over. That process is not yet complete but the Cowboys continue to work on it.
If you need more proof the Cowboys are rebuilding, look no further than the defensive coordinator position where the team fired Rob Ryan and hired Monte Kiffin. The new defensive coach brings with him a whole new scheme on defense, making it clear the Cowboys are headed in a new direction. So here’s a suggestion to help speed the process of rebuilding up because it’s taking entirely too long, trade DeMarcus Ware.
I’ve brought this up before and I know it would heartbreaking for a lot of Cowboys fans but trading Ware maybe the best thing the team can do to improve itself. Hear me out before you start hurling things at your computer because they are expensive and I don’t want to be the one costing you hundreds of dollars.
Since Ware has been on the Cowboys, the team is 1-3 in the playoffs, the same record as Tony Romo. while he does have four sacks in four games, the fact is the Cowboys have only won a single playoff game with Ware. Most of the blame gets placed on Romo, which may be justified, but it’s also the reason losing Ware won’t crush the team. Plain and simple, they aren’t winning big with Ware, so losing him wouldn’t make a big difference either.
He’s also the Cowboys most valuable trading commodity. Who else on the Dallas roster will some team give up anything of value for? Unless they want to truly start from scratch again, good luck convincing Jerry Jones of that, they can’t trade Tony Romo, who probably makes too much money to be dealt anyway. Who can bring the Cowboys back the high draft picks that can help the team fill all of their needs? Let’s be honest, the Cowboys aren’t one player away from a Super Bowl, so why not get the best possible value out of their most valuable player? Trading Ware could bring the Cowboys a few high round draft picks that could help solidify other areas of need on the team.
Another reason to consider trading Ware is the Cowboys shift to a new defense scheme and even though Ware should be able to handle the switch, he will be 31-years old next season and learning a new position. A position that will have him taking much more punishment because he has to engage in offensive linemen more than he ever has. I’m not saying he can’t do the job but after a season in which he began breaking down a little bit, perhaps the time to trade him is now.
Ware will also be coming off of shoulder surgery and possibly another surgery to his elbow this off-season, but all reports are that he’ll be ready for training camp. If you’re a Cowboys fan, are you willing to gamble that he’ll be back to a 15 sack player after a position switch and multiple surgeries? He’s already begun to slow down, collecting only 11.5 sacks in an injury riddled 2012 season after having 19.5 last year.
I’m not trying to bet against Ware but I am betting that he’ll never be the player he was in his younger days and playing in the 3-4. Trading Ware would also free up money for the Cowboys to do a number of things; they could sign a true 4-3 defensive end in free agency, spend the money on free agents at other positions of need or they could re-sign Anthony Spencer, who was much better than Ware this season. Dallas doesn’t currently have much room under the salary cap so moving a big contract would really help the team out. The Cowboys would take a cap hit relative to his signing bonus but it would better to take the hit now, when the team needs to rebuild fast, rather then later in his career.
The bottom line is the Dallas Cowboys need to get better in a hurry and the only way to build a better team is through the draft. DeMarcus Ware is the Cowboys most valuable trading piece the team has and now is the time to do it. It would be very sad to see a future Hall of Fame player go but I’m guessing most fans would rather see the Cowboys winning important January games without Ware, rather than seeing other teams playing meaningful football in January.
The NFL is a cold business and it means making tough decisions everyday. Emmitt Smith once played for another team, Tony Dorestt did too, it’s time to move on from DeMarcus Ware.
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