DeMarcus Ware is the all-time Dallas Cowboys leader in sacks. He had seven consecutive seasons with double digit sacks, missing the mark in only his rookie season and last season. He has led the NFL in sacks twice and has eclipsed 19 sacks twice in his career. Ware is a once in a generation first ballot Hall of Fame player who is one of the greatest players in the history of the Cowboys. Nevertheless, it was still the right decision to cut Ware.
The Cowboys are saving $7 million by parting ways with Ware, which gives them cap room that they desperately needed. In refusing to take a pay cut, the Cowboys would have to pay Ware the kind of money only a top pass rusher in the league would deserve. After last season, there is no reason to believe that Ware is going to be a top pass rusher. Ware struggled all season long to stay on the field, and when on the field, was not nearly as effected, as he only managed to get six sacks in the 13 games he started.
It can’t be ignored that last season was Ware’s first season playing defensive end in a new 4-3 scheme, and if given more time to adjust, he may have seen more success. If Ware was willing to take a pay cut, then it would make sense to give him another chance to prove himself, especially with a defensive line coach as good as Rob Marinelli. The kind of money the Cowboys invested in Ware could only be justified in a sure thing, and there’s too many variables with Ware to consider him a sure thing.
It is disheartening, given how awful the Cowboys’ defensive line was last year, that they will now be without their all time sack leader. But the cap space gives the Cowboys a chance to reconsider Jason Hatcher or Anthony Spencer, as well as have an opportunity to look at other cheaper free agents such as Henry Melton. Marinelli is known as a defensive line guru and with Ware out of his prime, he can surely replace the production with cheaper players.
The Cowboys made a strictly business decision in cutting Ware and on every practical level, it makes sense. The Cowboys now have an opportunity to redefine their defense with Marinelli at the helm. Change was both inevitable and necessary, as the past two seasons have been historically bad for the Cowboys. It must pain everyone in the organization, but because of his salary, letting Ware go was the only option.