The Dallas Cowboys and DeMarcus Ware…

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The Dallas Cowboys and DeMarcus Ware have decisions to make. His contract is scheduled to net $12.25 million in base salary in 2014. The contract that he signed in 2009 is outlined below.

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  • 2009: 6,005,000 4,000,000 1,790,000 11,795,000 –
  • 2010: 7,800,000 4,000,000 – 11,800,000 –
  • 2011: 685,000 4,000,000 1,803,000 6,488,000 –
  • 2012: 825,000 4,000,000 2,721,750 7,546,750 –
  • 2013: 840,000 4,000,000 3,252,443 8,092,443 15,825,250
  • 2014: 12,250,000 – 3,753,750 16,003,750 8,571,500
  • 2015: 13,750,000 – 3,753,750 17,503,750 5,317,750
  • 2016: 13,000,000 – 1,032,000 14,032,000 2,064,000
  • 2017: 13,000,000 – 1,032,000 14,032,000 1,032,000

As you can see, DeMarcus Ware has been playing for a very small base salary the last 3 years: especially when considering how good he has been. You can’t even question the last two years when he struggled with injury because his base salary was about 825K and 840K respectively. Ware’s thoughts are probably that he’s been playing his heart out, has given the team everything he as for veteran minimum, and deserves to be paid. I understand why he won’t take a pay cut to this extent. Outside of the first two years of the contract he hasn’t been paid accordingly in my mind or his I’m sure. Just a couple of years ago he got 19.5 sacks, was arguably the best OLB in all the NFL, and his pay for that year was a mere 685K. Did you hear anything coming out of Ware about his pay vs his production?

Dallas Cowboys v New Orleans SaintsIn my mind, DeMarcus Ware has given everything he has and as much as he could for the team. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of the leaders on the team, and not just the defense. Also, he would do everything and anything to win. Yes he’s been hurt the last two years. The question becomes: can he come back and have a solid year if they limit his snaps during the season? Yes, he does need to really put in the work in the off season and get himself in the best shape of his life. If they limit his snaps, there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll produce another double digit sack season.

Jerry Jones point of view:

Jerry JonesDeMarcus Ware has given everything he has and the Cowboys want to keep him around, but, and it’s a big but, DeMarcus Ware’s been injured the last two years, and is getting older. D. Ware won’t be the player he once was or even close, so we need to cut his salary. I’m sure Jerry Jones knows what D. Ware can get in the open market if the Dallas Cowboys cut him, and it won’t be the 12 mil he’s scheduled to make this year. D. Ware would most likely get about $5 mil a year from another team or around the avg salary. Knowing how loyal Jerry Jones is to the players and to this point there can be no debate. He wants to keep DeMarcus and pay him a fair salary. Jerry paying DeMarcus 5 mil a year is a fair salary. I would restructure his deal, pay him a nice signing bonus and make it a 3 year deal worth about $5 mil a year. Because of the contract that was originally signed, there’s going to be some dead money sometime, but if it can be cut to $5 mil in 2 or 3 years I can live with that.

This really is one of the toughest contracts I’ve seen the Dallas Cowboys have had to deal with in a long time, if not ever. Sure there have been other contracts that were tough to deal with, but none of them included the player that DeMarcus Ware has been for the Dallas Cowboys. It’s a tough decision to make, and a hard one. Both sides need to give. The Dallas Cowboys need to pay him a fair salary for his service to the team, and then Ware needs to give  because he’s getting older and not the player he once was. I’m sure Ware is thinking that he’ll be back next year and fully healthy and able to earn the 12 mil that he’s scheduled to make.

The Cowboys don’t think he’ll be the player he once was or there wouldn’t even be a discussion about his salary. What if DeMarcusWare gets injured? Who’s going to take his place on the team if they cut him? I’m just glad I’m not Jerry Jones or DeMarcus Ware’s agent. I’m glad I’m not in this pickle. My hope is that they find a way to work this out. The Dallas Cowboys can ill afford to lose DeMarcus now. They suffered numerous injuries on the defensive line last year and lack little talent or depth on the defensive line. Its hard to replace a player that produces the way that DeMarcus does and even tougher when you went through 20 defensive linemen the previous year.


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  • DeMarcus Ware has done everything he could to help Jerry and the cowboys. He has restructured his contract at least two times that I know of to help Jerry get under the cap. Now Jerry wants to hang him out to dry just like he did Rat, Newman and jenkins. Jerry is a snake if you ask me and I expect him to try and screw over Romo now that he restructured him as well. If I was Ware I would tell jerry to piss off, get my money and then go sign with another team for the $5 mil a year.

    Rat just got a new deal in Chi. It’s obvious none of these guys, to include hatch even want to play in Dallas. They watched how JJ screwed over their coaches and made them the fall guys for his incompetence. Let’s face it, good players don’t want to even be in Dallas and the only way JJ will get any in FA is if he overpays them. JJ is the laughing stock of the NFL. We learned exactly the kind of man JJ was when he fired Landry in such a classless manner.

    • carrie

      you are sadly mistaken. I see you conveniently left off his signing bonus money that he receives each year. When you restructure pay you don’t loose money. Base pay is reduced drastically and the remainder is rolled into signing bonus which the cap hit can be spread out over the I
      life of contract. D-ware has been handsomely paid. Don’t get me wrong I love d-ware in Dallas but it may be time to bite the bullet

      • rat

        EXACTLY< when a player RESTRUTURES they actually MAKE MORE MONEY because they get their salary in one lump sum in signing bonus immediately compared to that money spread out over the course of the year!

  • Paul Engelke

    i can see why ware isn’t happy with getting asked for a pay cut. i would tell Jerry to f…k off!

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    I want Ware, gone, but I don’t think he should take a paycut. He had 19.5 sacks like you said, but he was paid pocket change. He deserves to be paid accordingly. Ware should stand his ground.

  • Lionone1

    There is no way in hell I would let D.Ware go. Who do you replace him with? Give him some help in the middle.

    • Excellent point Lion

    • rat

      If we cut him we’d save 7.4 mil in cap space, we can go out and sign a YOUNGER D.E. to replace him with that money!

      • Lionone1

        I agree with you about getting younger. But, I want to get better also. For instance, the offensive line could use another, younger guard/T. The gamble is, is he the right guy? Is he good enough?

        • rat

          7.4 MILLION could go a LONG WAY in replacing ware, not just for NOW but for the future as well, someone like MICHAEL JOHNSON just 27 years old with huge upside, a Michael Bennett, players who are YOUNGER and could be better at this point of their careers who also don’t have QUESTION MARKS regarding health and possible age catching up to them!

          Listen, I’m all for keeping Ware for 5.5 Mil PLUS incentives up to 9 Mil, that’s more than he would get on the open market anyways, what I can’t understand is everyone saying JUST KEEP HIM and pay him a 12 mil base salary, that’s just not good business sense AT ALL since he isn’t getting ANYWHERE CLOSE to 12 mil base salary from anyone on the open market!

  • rat

    VERY SIMPLE MATH! DE’s who are declining and have injury problems arent’ worth 12 mil base salary which Ware is due to make! On the OPEN MARKET coming off injuries and 6 sacks, NO TEAM is gonna give him more than 6 mil base salary, his base is now 12 MIL, so that’s why he should take the pay cut and be happy because if he’s cut or refuses to take the cut, he wont make more than that, pretty simple actually.

    Say we offer 6 mil, which is a lot for a guy coming off 6 sacks and injuries at his age as well. Even if hypothetically a team offers him 7 mil which ISN’T GONNA HAPPEN, does he really wanna uproot his family, sell his house, move out of state over 1 million dollar difference?
    It’s a NO BRAINER of the century, take the pay cut, even add in incentives where he can make 10 mil if he gets 12+ sacks if they want. But bottom line, he HAS TO TAKE A PAY CUT because no other team is gonna offer him his CURRENT base salary of 12 mil for this year, no team is even gonna offer anywhere CLOSE TO THAT!

  • rat

    Cowgirlcas, when a player RESTRUCTURES his contract, he isn’t doing it JUST TO HELP US, he helps HIMSELF as well as he get his salary UP FRONT in a signing bonus compared to weekly checks, so actually Ware benefited himself by restructuring in past years.

  • rat

    Cowgirlcas22 Mod • 16 hours ago
    “If I was Ware I would tell jerry to piss off, get my money and then go sign with another team for the $5 mil a year.”

    So INSTEAD of taking a pay cut where he’d make base salary of 6 mil this year and stay in Dallas and not have to move his family and wife and kids out of state and find a new house, etc., etc., you think he should take LESS MONEY 5 Mil and leave????????

  • rat

    Whoever wrote this article has NO CLUE how contracts work!

    “Ware’s thoughts are probably that he’s been playing his heart out, has given the team everything he as for veteran minimum, and deserves to be paid. I understand why he won’t take a pay cut to this extent. Outside of the first two years of the contract he hasn’t been paid accordingly in my mind or his I’m sure.”

    HE HAS NOT PLAYED for the VETERAN MINIMUM, you are CONFUSING base salary and thinking that is all he got paid when you say he has been playing for the vet minimum, he STILL got paid signing bonus spread out over the length of contract as well as others as you stated, so to say he has been playing for the vet minimum is simply a false statement, that’s just his BASE SALARY, he actually got paid 7 Mil each season since 2011, so to say he played for the VET MINIMUM for those years is simply not true!

  • rat

    The question you have to ask yourselves is this! IF he was a FREE AGENT, would you sign him RIGHT NOW TODAY to a 2 year 26 million dollar contract coming off a declining year with 6 sacks and multiple injuries to shoulder, neck, and quad at his age????

    Cause in effect, that’s what we have right now, him signed to a 2 year 26 million dollar deal with his base salary at 12 mil for this year.
    On the open market, he’ll be LUCKY to make 5-6 mil a YEAR, so why should we pay him 12 mil a year???


    • Lionone1

      I read all of your comments so far. There is no need to be disrespectful. None of us, although different opinions, talk to each other that way.
      Your right about contracts and converting to bonus money. I don’t know anyone here that wouldn’t understand that. Most people are simply saying he shouldn’t take any kind of pay cut. I tend to agree with that. Hatcher and Spencer are a different story.
      My question still remains who are you going to replace him with? He had 1 injured year with 6 sacks. His leadership, understanding of the game, and experience for the other players is invaluable. You better be damn sure he is in decline if you let him go. Because I would take a 11 sack DeMarcus Ware over any unproven, rookie DE in this years draft, any day. Give me the name of his replacement. Its speculation on our part but, I believe he would get paid more than 5-6 mil a year on the open market.

      • rat

        How are you so sure Ware can even get 11 sacks? You’re gonna risk 12 mil base salary on an IF?

        Who says it has to be an UNPROVEN ROOKIE to replace him?
        Cutting him saves 7.4 MILLION, that could EASILY be sued to sign a guy like Michael Bennett who is younger/healthier, and will also be here long term as well with no question marks about health and age slowing him down.

        But using that logic, why don’t we overpay for Hatcher then since an ROOKIE is gonna probably replace him?
        Answer, because he’s too old and cost too much money!

    • Lionone1

      He got 3 yr 30 mil 20 mil guarantee. Set to make 13 mil in first season

  • boysdeporvida

    I think that Ware should work out a reasonable contract with intensives that will work for both side.
    My question then is Yes he got base salary. But that’s not all he got he got the Bonuses plus the signing bonus. Is that right?

  • Lionone1


  • Alexander James

    Nobody should be holding a grudge against Ware, he has earned every cent and then some…..

    Last season, let’s just say he got 17 sacks….SO WHAT??? Would he still be in a Cowboys uniform? LOL Would that have changed anything about our season?? LOL

    Last offseason- how many people restructured so Jerry would have more than $17k in the kitty to sign draft picks??? Jerry is a horrible GM & has repeatedly shown he cannot manage his salary cap as evidenced by the salary cap hell he finds himself EVERY STINKING YEAR.

    • Lionone1

      I can’t except this argument because we never got to see a healthy defensive front.