The Dallas Cowboys entered the NFL’s new year without the burden of the staggered $10 million cap penalty imposed by the league after Jerry Jones’ free spending during 2010’s no-cap campaign. They also enter it without the benefit of their best defensive player.
The Dallas Cowboys cut defensive end DeMarcus Ware on Tuesday before the 4 p.m. start of free agency. The pass rusher had pushed for a resolution to the impasse before the start of free agency. His $12.25 million salary proved too much for the Cowboys to carry. Though the franchise had managed to move from $31 million over the cap to a place snugly under the limit through cuts and restructured contracts, the Cowboys still needed to make room for draft acquisitions and other contingencies. The team sought to keep their feared pass rusher, but whatever figure they threw at Ware he apparently didn’t like it.
Ware immediately becomes one of the most sought-after players in the 2014 free agent class. With the Buccaneers paying more than $8 million a year for Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson, who, like Ware, struggled last season, the former Cowboy figures to cash in on a contract in the open market.
Ware posted just six sacks, his lowest annual total, during the 2013 season. But the nine-year veteran’s 117 sacks rank first in Cowboys history and eighteenth all time.