Cowboys have $2M in cap space, cutting Ware would make it $9.4M


Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones loves to make a splash in free agency, but at the moment he doesn’t have the salary cap space to do it.

Even after the Cowboys’ recent moves — including cutting center Phil Costa and restructuring the contracts of guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, quarterback Tony Romo, linebacker Sean Lee and cornerback Orlando Scandrick — the Cowboys only have about $2 million in cap space, according to

Before Jones could make a splash with an addition, he may have to make a splash with a subtraction. And so the big question facing the Cowboys is whether they’ll release DeMarcus Ware, the defensive end they’re hoping will take a pay cut. If Ware doesn’t play ball on a restructured deal and Dallas releases him, the Cowboys will get $7.4 million in cap savings, which would put their total cap space at around $9.4 million.

There’s likely more cap relief coming for the Cowboys, as they can release receiver Miles Austin with a post-June 1 designation and free up another $5.5 million in cap room, but that cap room won’t be available until it’s time for the Cowboys to start using some of their cap space to sign their rookie class.

Basically, the Cowboys’ free agency plans hinge on what happens with Ware. If they release him or get him to take a new contract that provides immediate cap relief, Jones may be able to sign a key player in free agency. If things stay as they are, the Cowboys will mostly be observers while other teams are spending.

57 responses to “Cowboys have $2M in cap space, cutting Ware would make it $9.4M

  1. Have to cut some of your best players to make cap space so you can find replacements that won’t be as good as the originals?

    Uhh… why not keep the originals? What a mess the Cowboys are. Jerruh really should at least play Madden as a GM so he could get some rudimentary skills in managing a team.

  2. Notice how the Vikings never have this problem?

    We have 40 million in cap space to spend on improving our defense and also have all the building blocks around us of young talent to compete for a Super Bowl.

    We run our franchise right.


  3. Cutting him to get a key player in FA nets them what, exactly?

    I mean it’s not like they’re cutting a scrub with a real bad contract who’s not providing any benefit to the team so if they cut Ware – they need to replace him with someone who provides quite a bit more at whatever position that is than what Ware’s providing at his.

    It’s not just about money – whomever comes in has to provide more on the FIELD than Ware too, just to make up the difference where it counts – wins.

  4. That’s great but am I missing something here? So if you cut Ware which is what they must do. That may free up money to make a “splash” But you also creating a huge whole cutting Ware. Catch 22 Cowboys….Catch 22.

  5. Jerry LOVES his big name players. He can’t bring himself to do the logical thing that the other 31 GM’s would do: Cut Ware

  6. Interesting that the Cowboys and Redskins are the two most valuable franchises in the NFL BUT have 2 owners that have been meddling in the draft and free agency for years which is the reason they have lousy teams.
    For some reason very rich people assume they know everything about everything….NOT.

  7. If I were Jerry, I wouldn’t worry about 2014. Play out the year, then blow it up next year by cutting Ware, Free, Austin, and possibly Witten. With the cap probably going to 140 next year at least, the boys would be 40 mill under and can start over…..and this time refrain from giving out any more crazy long term deals.

  8. When the cowboys do sign big names in FA in past years people talk crap….when they can’t sign big names people still talk crap….cowboy haters sure are illogical….all while the website owners rack up the money from them cause they know they(the haters) will flock to the negative stories

  9. Jerry released Aikman, Jerry cut Emmitt Smith, Jerry cut TO, etc, etc. Exactly how does that translate to ‘Jerry loves his big name players and can’t bring himself to do what the other 31 GM’s would do’?

    Ware is a future HOF player, but this isn’t about what Ware has done in a career. This is about what Ware’s production the last two years has been vs his contract. Is a player, no matter how good he has been, who has been injured and less effective the last two years (6 sacks in 2013 – 0 the last 8 games), and who has had two surgeries in the off season, worth a contract that pays him ~$13M in 2014? How many of the other GMs would sign Ware to a $13M one year contract today? I’d wager none of them.

    Nobody knows if Ware is going to recover from the multiple injuries he’s had (neck, shoulder, elbow, hamstring – and the neck is STILL not right after two years) the last two years to return to his form of 3-5 years ago, but, at 32-33 years old it doesn’t seem like a good bet to me.

    Nobody is a bigger fan of Ware then I am, but he isn’t worth what they’re paying him. He’s on the downside of his career and it doesn’t look like his body is holding up at 4-3 DE.

    Red Bryant, who is NOT Ware in his prime, but is a very good 4-3 DE, got $4mil/yr from the Jags. It looks to me like Ware should consider a pay cut with Dallas (rumored to be 7-8Mil/yr offer) rather get what he might from another team.

    The NFL is a cold business for older players. No room for sentimentality anymore.

  10. If the Cowboys are really hurting on defense (and they are) how does it improve the team to get rid of your best defensive player? I guess if you were smart and replaced an 8 million dollar player with 4 2 million dollar players that can get the job done, it would make sense. But Jerry hasn’t shown us that he is smart and trying to find cut rate players that can play is a difficult task. Ozzie is among the best and he pretty much whiffed on it last year with Huff, Canty and Spears, and now the trade for Monroe looks like a loser and the pickup of Daryl Smith may turn out the same way.

  11. I keep reading post’s that say Jerry should resign as GM. Obviously. But when your 70 some yrs old & have been sickly rich for 40+ of those yrs, you have a huge ego. As long as he’s owner of the Cowboys, he’ll be calling the shots. And as a Cowboy hater, I love it.
    Continue to disgrace your team Jones, you know the only reason you have 3 rings is because of Jimmy Johnson. You’re a tool.

  12. People saying “cutting ware would leave a huge hole.” Really?? We we’re the 32nd ranked defense in the NFL!! DEAD LAST!! You cut him for cap space. Dez, Tyron & even Murray (if he can stay healthy) will need extensions soon. Losing W

  13. If you think it is bad now, Dez’s contract will need be addressed soon as well. Both Doug Free, and Demarco Murray could be free agents after next season to go along with the option they have on Tyron Smith, that will need be addressed as well.

    They’re going to need to find some cap space soon, or just shed some guys for the long run

  14. How did Jones get into that predicament in the first place? Has he no future vision to see what these contracts will do to his cap? He needs to hire someone with some knowledge of these things and stop trying to do it himself. Someone who graduated from HS and got a c+ in basic math should be able to help him out. I think Jerry lacks the intelligence to actually run that team.

  15. The Cowboys currently have $2M in 2014 cap space, $4M in projected 2015 cap space, and $48M in 2016 cap space. They can do whatever they want with Ware, and they will still not be in cap trouble. Cutting him does not make sense – you gain $7M of current cap, but also add $8.5M in future dead money. FA is probably not the best option for Ware, because he will get a new contract that is loaded on the back end (which he will not earn). The win -win for Dallas and Ware is a re-negotiation of his current contract that gets Ware paid more over the next 2 years than he would in a new contract, but lowers the cap impact to the team. The math is pretty easy.

  16. Why does everyone act like Jerry is always big on free agency? He has owned the Cowboys 25 years and you can count on one hand the ” big name” Free agents he has chased. Dieon, Owens, and Carr who wasn’t a big name but got a big contract because that’s the going price now. He did chase Aso,. and luckily failed but that is still only about 4 off the top of my head. Any others?

  17. It’s probably best for both sides to part ways. Ware has admitted that playing DE in the 4-3 is tougher on his health than OLB in a 3-4. Dallas needs a 4-3 DE that can stay healthy and having a little cap space may help them find one.

    Been a nice ride but may be time to just move on.

  18. It’s amazing how a team that has saw only one playoff win in 20 years never has any cap space.

    It’s also amazing at how wealthy this team is, but I think fans have run out of patience and will demand real change with there $$$.

  19. Dallas has been 8-8 the last 3 years yet they are constantly over the cap.
    8-8 teams have mediocre talent which means they shouldn’t be having cap issue every single year.

    Just another example of why their “GM” doesn’t have a clue. Paying too much money for mediocre talent is a recipe for disaster.

    It must really suck to be a Cowboys fan. Enjoy another 8-8 year in 2014.

  20. Free advice…The best way to improve their defense is not by keeping Ware, but by running the ball more on offense…especially when you’re winning and gaining yards. Every time you put your defense back on the field, you are more likely to concede points. Even the best NFL defenses give up points so if they can limit the opposing offense’s possessions, I bet their defense gives up fewer points. I still don’t know why they didn’t keep running against GB…

  21. Miles Austin should be released. He’s not worth half the money he’s getting, he’s usually hurt and when healthy he’s nothing special. Ware, as good as he’s been, is also hurt far too much. I’d try as hard as I could to renegotiate his contract, but if he refuses to budge then I’d do what I had to do to make that “splash” in free agency that Jones supposedly wants to make…

  22. I like how fans of other teams slam the Cowboys for spending too much, but the Boys have to pay other stinking teams revenue sharing that they just sit on and don’t spend. Atlanta collects revenue sharing, is well under the cap and won 4 games last year. It should be a rule if you collect it, the owner cannot line his pockets with more successful financially franchises money. You collect it, spend it or give it back.

  23. Ware must be salivating at the thought of getting out of train wreck known as “da boyz”. Get your tail up to Seattle for 4 mil a year and pick up a ring to go with it! Call it therapy to get out of Jeryy-world…

  24. Major league baseball and the NBA don’t allow for players to restructure their contracts to take less money. Only football allows this. Football players are getting a raw deal from their union leaders.

  25. Jerry Jones is easily the most entertaining owner in all of sports. I love watching the guy screw up the Cowboys over and over again.

    Keep it up Jerry! The rest of the NFC loves you.

  26. I love the headline… With Jerry Jones as your GM, the only splash you will hear in Dallas is the Cowboy Team hitting the toilet by November…

  27. Ware is past his prime. Because Jerry doesn’t know how to trade a player on the way down, we will have to cut him and get nothing but cap space…

  28. I’m a huge Cowboy fan, and I love Ware…But the truth is….He IS NOT worth the money they are paying him now….If he doesn’t take a pay cut, they have to release him…His production is down, and he can’t stay healthy…..If he excels for another team, so be it…..To me, the safety position needs a HUGE upgrade…has since Darren Woodson retired……The middle of the field is always wide open on defense for the Cowboys…….It’s true, Jerry has bungled things football wise….If you want to make money, he’s your man….But football decisions…needless to say….not his strong suit….The worst had to be the Roy Williams
    trade….What a bust he was …..Downhill since then…Ugh…

  29. “If the Cowboys are really hurting on defense (and they are) how does it improve the team to get rid of your best defensive player?”

    Hate to admit it but he’s not the best player on (even) that defense. Jason Hatcher and Sean Lee are more valuable since the switch to 4-3.
    A 3-4 team may value a non-prime D.Ware but probably not to the tune of $13M a year.

    That said, Sean Lee is brittle and Jason Hatcher will be lost to free agency. There are too many holes and they can only be solved by frugal/lucky FA pickups and an incredibly strong draft (lol, yeah good luck JJ).

  30. wow shat a mess over payed all his players t the point of oblivion. this is the same boat the redskins are in. horrible management with the owners too involved to understand how to manage the cap, the fan boys are useless you wont even have enougb dough to sign your rookies cut ware we got enough money in minnesota we can pay him

  31. “taintedsaints2009 says:

    how is it possible for this team to have salary cap problems?”


    They have more money than God, just not allowed to spend it.

  32. The problem with the defence for the last two years has been injuries .
    Reading the above post regarding the new 4-3 under Monte Kiffin last year is hysterical, no one was throwing the same players on defence under the bus the prior year under Rob Ryan.
    Firing Ryan and overpaying mediocre players is the problem that has caught up with Jerry Jones.
    The solution for Ware ? Why not put the franchise tag on him ?
    the Cowboys are already under the cap and after releasing Miles Austin they will have plenty for new rookies one of which should be a pass rushing DE .
    Cowboy haters show their ignorance when they don’t realize
    without the revenue brought in by them many small
    market teams would not exist ! Yeah smart guy lets eliminate the salary cap you know like the Yankees and see what happens to 8-8.

  33. How did the Cowboys get themselves in this position? They had a $5 million salary cap hit the last two years as punishment and the cap rose $2.4 million this year. Any decently managed team would have $7.4 million available right now.

    The Cowboys desperately need help in the secondary. Having a strong pass rusher is no good if the opposing quarterback can get the ball to a receiver quickly.

    BTW — whoever is bragging on Minnesota — you just made a five year contract with a career second string defensive end for Ware-type money. No bragging rights there.

  34. Clueless Jones has turned this once well respected organization into the laughing stock of the NFL. That said, please don’t draft the Alabama guy named Ha Ha because the Cowboys are already laughed at enough!

  35. This is what happens when you run Parcells out of town. That guy believed in having a few veteran role players and slew of draft picks…always rebuilding.
    Always stockpiling linemen/blue-collar depth….the exact opposite of what Jones wants.

    He’ll build you a mentally tough 9-7 team with no flash and a solid defense and cap space.

    Jones will build you a 8-8 team with all flash and no cap space.

  36. You know I really don’t like the cowboys I actually hate them. But I love football and I for one and I say this with good intent this is the worse NFL team right now in the league far as players coaches and personnel. This team outright sucks!! Hey I see you have to cut ware to try and get someone in there with some money save. And it’s not a good move to cut ware but you have to for stupid contracts Jerry made LOL!!! This team is so horrible right now this season will be the worse as that schedule is brutal !!! I see 5 wins maxed for the cowboys this year. Cowboy fans if you think last year was bad this year will be worse!! I don’t even see the cowboys coming out and being a contender until the year 2025 and that is because Tony Romo has a contract that has a strangle hold and Romo will never win a superbowl ever. Let alone a playoff !!! 6 More years with Romo haa haa haa my goodness this team makes anyone want to not watch them. No one wants to watch the cowboys only cowboy fans wants to watch them and as I have seen many are not and are getting of the cowboys train. I thought I would never see it but to see cowboy fans say they are leaving it is shocking cause those people love their team!! But sense almost 20 years and things are getting worse who can blame them. Man jerry jones has ruin this team to no return. Cowboy fans you have nothing to look up too for at least another 10 to 12 years if that. Jason garret is horrible and your defense sucks!!!! And you have jerry jones to thank you for it LOL!!! Thanks Jerry I get to laugh at the boys on Sunday’s . I hope they do not put the cowboys on prime time cause no one wants to see this mediocre team at best they are horrific!!

  37. Personally, I think Spencer is a greater liability than Ware. Ware take a paycut. Return Ware to weak side linebacker. Trade Spencer if possible, cut Austin in June. If Ware doesn’t perform this season, send him packin’, if he does perform…trade him for a decent draft pick and clean house of the mediocre overpaid fodder that remains and ease on down the road to a new era.

  38. Anyone wanna know why we have only one two play off games since 1995? We will never get deep into the play offs until Jerry Jones steps down to let someone more competent take charge.

  39. Would have loved to have seen us trade Choke Romo, hopefully move up in the draft, and get AJ McCarron. 2 SEC championships and 3 BCS National championships. Might win some play off games for a change.

    Nope, cut Demarcus Ware, and Miles Austin to keep Romo. Freaking Brilliant.

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