IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys cut defensive end DeMarcus Ware on Tuesday after negotiations with the nine-year veteran failed. The club asked the seven time Pro Bowler and four time All Pro to take a pay cut. In his nine seasons in Dallas, Ware led the league in sacks in 2008 and 2010.
The Cowboys refused to pay $12.25 million in base salary, asking Ware to take lesser money or be waived. Now, Dallas is expected to save $7.43 million in cap space. With nearly $10 million in cap space, the Cowboys have an optimistic moment to sign Chicago defensive tackle Henry Melton and also retain homegrown veterans Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer.
Ware had been a dominant defensive force in his Dallas tenure. From 2006-12, Ware recorded at least ten sacks per season. He currently ranks 18th in career sacks with 117. Only in 2008 was he considered for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, losing out to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
Possible landing spots for Ware include division opponents, though it appears that the Denver Broncos are leading the DeMarcus Ware sweepstakes. For the former Dallas Cowboys captain, his next chapter begins in another city in 2014, despite Jerry Jones’ comments that the defensive end’s time in Dallas may not be over.