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Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Rebuilding plan starts with DeMarcus Ware

By Calvin Watkins

DeMarcus Ware
It might be time for the Cowboys to let aging defensive end DeMarcus Ware go.

The Dallas Cowboys have a chance to start over.

It’s not an ideal situation, but in the big picture, this is the perfect time.

The Cowboys are talking with Pat Dye, the agent for defensive end DeMarcus Ware, about a reduction in salary.

Ware has been the Cowboys’ best defensive player for roughly seven consecutive seasons. But last year was different. Ware battled elbow, back, quad and a stinger in 2013.

His health betrayed him and he finished with just six sacks in the 2013 season. You could say health was the reason for his declining play or that he’s just getting old.

The reality is Ware is still a good player, not a player worth taking $16 million of your salary cap, but maybe half that.

The Cowboys have basically told him to take a pay cut or find another team.

I don’t believe they should keep him though because although Ware is still a productive player, if the team is trying to forge ahead and stop the mediocrity of the franchise, then letting him go is the best thing possible.

Rebuild.

If Ware is off the books, it saves $7.4 million.

On June 1, you get another $5.5 million in savings when your rid yourself of Miles Austin’s contract.

That’s close to $13 million in savings from two veteran players who are battling health issues as they move to the backstage of their careers. Sure some other NFL team will sign them, that’s life in the NFL.

The Cowboys need to get younger, like yesterday. If Jason Garrett wants a contract extension he should tell Jerry Jones, let’s get younger.

It’s time to end the way the franchise has kept players around for too long and move toward the future. It’s time for the Cowboys to draft the best players on their board and clean up the communication mess of the last few years in the war room.

Yes, Travis Frederick was a solid first-round pick last spring.

What about Gavin Escobar? B.W. Webb? Two years prior, there was Matt Johnson.

We have the inconsistent play of second-round selection Bruce Carter from 2011. Morris Claiborne was a first-round pick in 2012 and the Cowboys are still waiting on him to have a major impact on the field like he did at LSU.

You see, Ware is just the start.

Forget about a pay cut, just let him go.

When Will McClay and Tom Ciskowski and the rest of the personnel staff rank the best college talent around, trust them.

Believe in them.

If a coach wants to share an opinion, that’s fine, but I remember Jerry Jones said it best about the draft a few years ago when he said that he values that end-of-college-season grade from the scouts when it comes time for his own evaluations.

Jones trusts his personnel to help him make the right choice. Yet, he allows the coaches to have too much of a voice on draft weekend.

End the madness.

It all starts with Ware.

If you let Ware go, find a younger talent in the first two days of the draft. The Cowboys have done it in the past.

Use the money you have to take care of Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith. They're the future of the franchise. Not Tony Romo. Not Ware. It’s Bryant and Smith. Early 20s and ready.

The time to rebuild is now.

Jones wants to win today, but his roster isn’t shaped for it. Until he realizes that, 8-8 is all the Cowboys will ever be.

Pull back the salary-reduction offer to Ware, tell him thank you for the memories and ship his boxes to the house.

Nothing personal.

Just rebuilding.