Though, ideally, NFL teams are focused on more pressing matters three days before the first real game of the year, there aren’t many more pressing matters for the Dallas Cowboys than finding a way to keep linebacker DeMarcus Ware.
Ware’s rookie contract expires after the season, and Ware’s agent was in town on Thursday to talk about a new deal.
Per Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News, Pat Dye met with Stephen Jones for “a few hours” regarding Ware’s long-term tenure with the team.
“It was very,
very cordial,” Dye said. “They made some significant moves in certain
components of the contract, and we made some significant moves on
certain components of the contract. I think it was a very constructive
discussion, but until you reach a result or have a result, how do you
Actually, the mere fact that the Cowboys are willing to talk is an encouraging sign, given that the absence of a new labor deal by March 1 will convert 2010 into an uncapped year — and will in turn prevent Ware from becoming an unrestricted free agent. So the Cowboys could have chosen to wait and see what happens.
The other reality at work here is that it might be easier to pay Ware what he wants at the start of the uncapped year, since any contract signed this year would have to fit within the confines of the team’s remaining cap room — and it would also have to comply with the rule limiting contract growth from a capped year to an uncapped year.
Still, teams have been finding ways to pay whatever they want to pay for the guys they really want to keep since the current free agency system was adopted. Of all owners, Jerry Jones knows how to get what he wants.
If/when Ware re-signs, Jerry also should send a basket of premium meats and/or cheeses to Dolphins V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells. The Tuna wisely selected Ware instead of Shawne Merriman, who initially appeared to be the far superior player but who, with the passage of time, has proven to be a step or two below Ware.