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Cowboys should have tried to trade Ware

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For a change, the official numbers for a big-ticket player match the unofficial numbers that were reported before the official numbers were available.

In Denver, DeMarcus Ware gets $13 million in 2014, fully guaranteed.  Another $3.5 million for 2015 is fully guaranteed, for a total guarantee at signing of $16.5 million.

In Dallas, Ware’s guarantee moving forward was $0.00.  And his full compensation for 2014 was due to be $12.75 million, $250,000 less than his earnings in Dallas.

With Ware getting more in Denver this year than he would have gotten in Dallas, an obvious question arises:  Why didn’t the Cowboys try to trade him?

The cap charge (and net savings) would have been the same, since Dallas opted not to use the post-June 1 designation when cutting Ware.  (The post-June 1 designation would have required the Cowboys to carry Ware’s $16 million cap number until June 2.)  There was no reason for the Cowboys not to at least try to pull off a trade.

With Denver willing to pay $13 million this year, the existing contract easily could have been reworked.  Given the financial commitment, the Broncos likely would have given up something to get Ware, even if it were a Jonathan Martin-style conditional seventh rounder in 2015.

Per a league source, the Cowboys didn’t try to trade Ware to Denver.  It’s safe to say they didn’t try to trade Ware to anyone.

The Cowboys, by all appearances, badly misread the market for Ware.  They didn’t believe he was worth $12.75 million this year, and so they assumed he wasn’t worth $12.75 million to anyone else.  They assumed wrong, and they could have tried to finagle something of value in return for Ware’s rights, if instead of huffing and puffing about getting Ware to take less they’d simply rolled up their sleeves and started making phone calls.

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65 Responses to “Cowboys should have tried to trade Ware”
  1. primenumber19 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:02 AM

    As much as I think the cowboys are inept they may have just been doing a favor for a franchise icon by letting him choose his own future.

  2. selldannysell says: Mar 19, 2014 10:02 AM

    Chalk up another brilliant GM move by Jerrah!

  3. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Mar 19, 2014 10:02 AM

    It’s hard to blame them because Ware isn’t worth $12.75 million this year.

  4. bucrightoff says: Mar 19, 2014 10:03 AM

    I’ll let you in on a secret: Jerry Jones is a horrible GM.

  5. tonyugoh says: Mar 19, 2014 10:03 AM

    hahaha I never thought about it this way. LOL Jerry Jones

  6. jerruhjones says: Mar 19, 2014 10:03 AM

    Brilliant Jerruh!

  7. schmitty2 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:05 AM

    Doing something that “makes sense” is not the Dallas Cowboys way.

  8. mcmccii says: Mar 19, 2014 10:06 AM

    Yeah “The Cowboys” errr Jerry Jones. What a trash-fire. At least the Cowboys fans have taken the douche down a notch after being embarrassed year after year.

  9. fin72 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:06 AM

    Totally perplexing that Dallas is not a winning franchise.

  10. nowillrepeat says: Mar 19, 2014 10:08 AM


  11. lesliedevereaux says: Mar 19, 2014 10:08 AM

    Hindsight is always 20/20, especially when it has to do with numbers. It’s very easy to say they should have traded him, but the reality is this: the Cows wanted to give Ware an opportunity to explore *all* of his options, and for him to do it early.

  12. texaspistoleer says: Mar 19, 2014 10:10 AM

    I believe the GM failed to tell the owner of this possibility

  13. luz56 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:11 AM

    What a hone head choice that was by Jerrah…Now you can see why they continue to hoover a very small notch above mediocrity…

  14. stealthscorpio says: Mar 19, 2014 10:11 AM

    HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!! Nice job “Socks n Jocks” Jones

  15. zeedoubleyou says: Mar 19, 2014 10:12 AM

    Same reason that TB couldn’t trade Revis:

    They had no leverage. The other 31 teams knew DAL couldn’t afford to keep Ware and waited for him to get cut just like they knew TB wasn’t going to pay Revis $16 million to play cover 2.

  16. doclolly says: Mar 19, 2014 10:12 AM

    i doubt teams would have been lining up to hand over a decent draft pick and pay Ware (Who is going to be 32 when the season starts) that kind of money.

    Best case Scenario at most they would have gotten a 6th or 7th rounder and knowing Jerrah he would probably waste that pick on something that would have amounted to nothing so it pretty much a wash they cut him.

  17. floratiotime says: Mar 19, 2014 10:13 AM

    Are you implying that the Cowboys are poorly run ???

  18. thealmightybigblue says: Mar 19, 2014 10:13 AM

    I never thought of that-Jerry Jones

  19. ravenswhat says: Mar 19, 2014 10:13 AM

    Because their GM is a buffoon that’s why.

  20. rg3sus says: Mar 19, 2014 10:14 AM

    That type of move requires savvy and forward thinking. That is something a full time GM has time and ability to do. Jerry has GM duties, owner duties, and likely other compant duties. He simply can’t be a full time GM and do it well.

  21. RobCagley says: Mar 19, 2014 10:14 AM

    I can tell you exactly why they didnt try to trade him. The Cowboys respect DWare and wanted him to be able to choose his next team. How this is viewed as anything but showing respect to a great player on and off the field, I dont understand. By releasing him, the Cowboys allow him to choose his next team, by trading him, they dont. I think it was a great move by Dallas, showing some respect to a great player. To criticize the move is crazy.

  22. pompadoorknob says: Mar 19, 2014 10:14 AM

    Is it possible to admit Denver overpaid?

  23. americasteamthenewyorkfootballgiants says: Mar 19, 2014 10:19 AM

    Nice work down in Little D as per usual. Team has turned into a more laughable joke then the Bungles and Bucs

  24. nygmann says: Mar 19, 2014 10:21 AM

    Guess its not that easy to run the Cowboys after all. How’s it going since you fired Jimmy Johnson?

  25. nflviewer says: Mar 19, 2014 10:21 AM

    There was a very simple reason the Cowboys needed to cut Ware. The Cowboys were over the salary cap limit. Cut and dried. Simple. They needed to get under.

    Had they tried to trade Ware, they would have had to cut someone else while Ware remained on the roster, and they still would have had no room to sign free agents.

  26. emac40 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:23 AM

    The Cowboys badly misread the market regarding a player’s value??? And, last year, they overvalued an aging, injury prone DT costing the team $6.5M in dead money this year (Ratliff)? And they overpay a slightly above avg Qb, making him completely untradeable and uncuttable? Surely, you jest? GREAT football minds are running the DC operation. This is a SOUND franchise with a very shiny stadium.

  27. redsoxu571 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:25 AM

    Hey fin72…know what Dallas’s record is since 2005? 81-63. Nothing to crow about, but sounds plenty “winning” to me, especially given the three championships under the same ownership.

    From your name, I’m going to guess that yours is the team that has gone 62-82 over the same period. Where the heck do you get off talking smack?

  28. stevemo says: Mar 19, 2014 10:26 AM

    Jerry Jones is such a loser with his 3 Super Bowls. What he should do is hire a real GM from one of the 14 teams that haven’t won the big game and turn this franchise to respectability.

  29. russellwilsonismymvp says: Mar 19, 2014 10:27 AM

    As much as I’d love to bash the Cowboys, Denver way overpayed for the guy. He’s not worth 13 million based on his age, injuries, and production over the last few seasons. But, yes, Denver probably would’ve coughed up a draft pick…that I believe because they got punked in the Superbowl and the window is closing fast with Manning behind center.

  30. jdbaker01 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:28 AM

    Jerry needed the 12m for more plastic surgery

  31. richndc says: Mar 19, 2014 10:29 AM

    I’ll let you all in on another little secret. Blogs like this make giant assumptive leaps and sometimes completely fabricate their ‘information’. It only breeds idiots, like the crowd above. “The existing contract could have been easily reworked.” Wow, I guess someone should quit writing fake gossip blogs and become a GM tomorrow.

  32. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Mar 19, 2014 10:30 AM

    No question: the Cowboys’ GM bungled another one. Good thing the GM has a very close relationship with owner – or he might be at risk for termination.

    Seriously though. When you can move an item of value for value in return, you never just effectively give it away. That’s like flushing money down the toilet.

    For an Owner/GM known to have unmistakeable “swagger” — Jones (and Cowboy Nation) would probably be much better served if Jones actually seriously questioned his own fallibility.

    That guy is a disaster at running a football team — and reminds me a lot of really poor IDP Dynasty Owners in FF. These guys *think* they know what they’re doing and boldly make one idiotic move after another — never once inching up the learning curve they’re stuck at the bottom of.

  33. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 19, 2014 10:33 AM

    I agree, and they should have packaged him with somebody else that helps get a trade partner to bite. If a team is mulling over maybe giving you “x” instead of you getting nothing then sometimes you can lock them into that if they feel they can pick up a benefit on what else is added in to the deal. Even if you have to take a loss on the other transaction it is worth it if you can salvage the “x” and that the “x” is larger than what you are shorting yourself on the other portion of the trade. If you get lucky then you can find a player on the team that the other team overvalues and then you can kill two birds with one stone. This is an option for the Eagles to get a better return on trading DJ if they can come up with something creative with the right partner.

  34. daysend564 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:34 AM

    Ware isn’t worth $12.75M, he’s worth about half that if only by name recognition.

    Elway doesn’t want to look like a fool paying Manning so much and not have anything to show. He knows there is only 1-2 years left, so he’s breaking the bank on anybody that he thinks can help them win right now. They’ll pay for it in the future.

  35. fissels says: Mar 19, 2014 10:35 AM

    I’m thinking that Jerry was trying to help Ware by letting him decide where he wants to play. Jerry is not a good GM but he is loyal to players like Ware.

  36. themackstrong says: Mar 19, 2014 10:38 AM

    Like all of you I think Jerry Jones hasn’t done a good job as a GM.

    The reality is if Jones held onto Ware- all the talk would be about keeping and paying an old star that is past his prime just like that was happening. Once he is released people hop on him for having no talent on the defensive line. The Broncos are then anointed Super Bowl Champs in Free Agency for signing Ware of 2011 that he didn’t have 6 sacks last year.

  37. myworldurjuslivinit says: Mar 19, 2014 10:39 AM

    I’m sure a trade never crossed their minds; yeah right. Jerry made his millions by playing the lotto. Stupid people.

  38. sportsnut101 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:42 AM

    They where waiting for denver to fax them trade offers. Rest is history

  39. whiteknightblackheart says: Mar 19, 2014 10:54 AM

    Sweet 20/20 hindsight article.

  40. patsfan1820 says: Mar 19, 2014 10:54 AM

    As much as I hate Dallas I have to disagree. The Cowboys needed to cut Ware to get themselves in better salary cap standing. They knew the risk of it. Actually I gotta say Denver overpaid for Ware I mean 20 million guaranteed for 3 years? Yikes.

  41. theuglitruth says: Mar 19, 2014 11:08 AM

    They most certainly could have worked a trade! The assumption that a deal couldn’t be struck is silly…it only takes one team that values DM. There were a lot of teams with the cap space, the need to sell tickets or just a player or two away from getting to the SB. To assume that Jerry never makes is mistake because he is a millionaire is laughable…successful people make their money by making mistakes and continuing to try…not because they never make mistakes!

  42. sonofsamadams says: Mar 19, 2014 11:09 AM

    Jerry Jones is my favorite GM because he’s the reason you never have to worry about the Cowboys.

  43. oreo51 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:10 AM

    Stupid is, as stupid does!

  44. chalkruz1989 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:16 AM

    What NFL team in their right mind would have traded for an aging defensive end that they knew was going to be cut?

    While the bashers want to point to Jerry Jones being at fault again, maybe he was thinking that he wanted to allow DeMarcus Ware the opportunity to find a team that has a chance of winning the Super Bowl.

    Can’t hate on a team for understanding that a Super Bowl is not in the cards and allow their franchise sack leader the opportunity to play deep into the postseason.

  45. lionhunter909 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:17 AM

    IMO, Broncos are way overpaying for this guy, so you can’t blame Jerry Jones for that. I have to think that Von Miller is definitely going to take notice of this and it will force the Broncos to pay a lot more to keep him.

    Bad move by Elway…..

  46. generalherald says: Mar 19, 2014 11:20 AM

    “Per a league source, the Cowboys didn’t try to trade Ware to Denver. It’s safe to say they didn’t try to trade Ware to anyone.”

    This assumption disregards that technically for a trade to be equitable there needs to be more than one potential suitor.

  47. granadafan says: Mar 19, 2014 11:24 AM

    I see it as a combination of things. Denver overpaid and the Cowboys’ brilliant GM blew it.

  48. boltdaddy says: Mar 19, 2014 11:30 AM

    I don’t know Jerry Jones however I do feel somewhat badly for him given how inept his GM is handling the team’s personnel matters. Maybe one day he’ll realize he needs to replace the GM.

  49. whatjusthapped says: Mar 19, 2014 11:31 AM

    Cowboys need a real GM, not an owner trying to play one on TV.

    As long as the Cowboys try to run the organization with Jerry’s ego in the middle, nothing will ever change.

  50. areyouseriousrofl says: Mar 19, 2014 11:32 AM

    Some say Sproles is worth more than a 5th rounder. But that’s how Mickey Loomis does things, he turns nothing into value. Sproles was 100% going to be cut anyway, but the Saints STILL managed a 5th round pick. Teach Jerry a thing or two Mick…

  51. wwrgesusd says: Mar 19, 2014 11:35 AM

    We love you Jerra!!!! Don’t change a thing and keep extending Romo and Sean Lee (who is a pro bowler 4 games a year)!!!

  52. seahawkhuskyfan says: Mar 19, 2014 11:36 AM

    It is amazing how the Cowboys fans always make excuses for things like this. Come on get real, time for a new GM. Changes need to happen and you can start looking for a QB that can win a big game.

  53. northernwisc says: Mar 19, 2014 11:36 AM

    This is just foolish. The whole article is based on the idea that a team like the Broncos would have traded and then reworked his existing deal. That would have resulted in a longer contract that they were not ready to do.

    If you want to rip the Cowboys – be legitimate in doing so, otherwise you are just wasting bandwidth.

  54. stunzeed5 says: Mar 19, 2014 11:53 AM

    As a Cowboy hater, and a Redskin fan… pains me to say the Dallas has been pretty smart with their off-season decisions this year.

  55. russrpm says: Mar 19, 2014 12:09 PM

    Why would any team in the league make a trade when it was obvious that the Cowboys were about to move on from Ware. If you read the stories leading up to free agency this year, or any other year, this is a common theme: Aging star, still has something left in the tank, but too much a burden on the salary cap. Team has choice of trying to rework contract, release, or trade. Rest of league circles like buzzards, waiting for release, unwilling to part with a draft pick, knowing that the player will eventually be released. The only thing different in this case is that Denver overpayed for a 32 yr old linebacker, which they will regret if they don’t limit his snaps over the next 2 seasons.

  56. markdamack says: Mar 19, 2014 12:25 PM

    Why didn’t every team who cut an aging star trade them!?

    Where’s the “Bears could’ve traded Julius Peppers” article?

    Oh, that wouldn’t generate enough hits, right?

  57. getsome99 says: Mar 19, 2014 12:40 PM

    Because Jimmy Johnson isn’t the GM. Duh.

  58. thebirdsareback says: Mar 19, 2014 12:47 PM

    Texas is full of losers

  59. abninf says: Mar 19, 2014 1:08 PM

    With one of the worst defenses in league history last season, I don’t care if he cuts everyone. Denver grossly overpaid Ware.

  60. agenteddie6 says: Mar 19, 2014 1:39 PM

    I agree with those that say that Ware was cut early to give Ware a chance to find an early free-agent deal (where the money is). I also think that is a sign of a GM more friendly to players than interested in making the team better. They could have played hardball with Ware, declining to cut him until he took a pay cut or it was too late in free-agency to make a big money deal. Look at what the Patriots are doing to Vince Wilfork, who is as much as a part of New England’s identity as Ware was in Dallas.

  61. bcdc26 says: Mar 19, 2014 1:39 PM

    First, the value of Ware in a trade would have been his contract and then also a pick(s), therefore less desirable for the trade partner.

    Second, the writing was on the wall that he was going to be released either way so finding a suitable trade partner would have been unlikely.

    Third, after years of mediocrity while he performed at a level much higher than most of his teammates the only decent thing to do would have been to allow him to find his own team. As a big cowboys fan, I’m far from a Jerry supporter but this is one situation I’m not terribly upset with him on. The bigger issue was finding ourselves in this much of a cap predicament in the first place.

  62. bearshaterseverywhere says: Mar 19, 2014 3:04 PM

    Cowboys should have done a lot of things…..Jerry Jones needs to find an actual GM and not continue to live in a fantasy world.

  63. deep64blue says: Mar 19, 2014 3:29 PM

    Doesn’t matter whether Denver overpaid or not the fact is Dallas totally misread the market!

  64. burlybax says: Mar 19, 2014 3:49 PM

    Will we get a compensatory pick? Might be a wash if we do.

  65. raiderapologist says: Mar 19, 2014 8:48 PM

    We should let the season play out before we decide if Ware was worth 13M guaranteed.

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