While the Dallas Cowboys had an interesting offseason to say the least, at times fans were left cringing by some of the moves that the Boys’ had to make. When all is said and done, though, these were some moves that just had to be done, and one of them resulted in the team having to cut a fan favorite in DeMarcus Ware. It wasn’t just Ware, though, as the Cowboys didn’t bring back defensive tackle Jason Hatcher or wide receiver Miles Austin either.
I believe Austin was on his way out of the door for a season or two now, though. At age 29, Austin has struggled to stay healthy and on the field recently. In 2012, he was able to play 16 games, but in 2011 and 2013, he played just 10 and 11 games, respectively. Last season was the least productive as he had just 24 catches for 244 yards and zero TDs in those 11 games as we saw rookie Terrance Williams really step up.
Austin won’t be the most missed of this group, so for me, it obviously comes down to Ware or Hatcher, and the answer is an easy and very obvious one.
The reason why Hatcher is getting so much attention is because of a very impressive 2013 season. He put up 11 sacks, 41 total tackles and two forced fumbles. It was a strong season, but before this past year, the argument wasn’t even close. Hatcher had never topped 4.5 sacks, and had only had more than the 41 total tackles in his career one other time (in 2012).
It’s no question that Ware is the obvious choice, but it’s not close. In a 2013 season where the talented defensive end missed three games, he still managed 40 tackles and six sacks. Before that in his career, Ware hadn’t failed to top 11 sacks in a season since his rookie year back in 2005. That type of production just can’t be understated.
The only reason the Cowboys cut Ware was due to salary cap issues, and it also helped to set them up to re-sign younger players like Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith and DeMarco Murray. While it was a tough move for the Cowboys, it was a choice that had to be made for the future.