10 offseason questions: Cutting Ware

February, 11, 2014
Feb 11
10:00
AM ET
The Cowboys have major decisions to handle regarding their franchise this offseason. Todd Archer and Calvin Watkins, along with some guests, answer some of biggest issues for the Cowboys.

Should the Cowboys release DeMarcus Ware?

Calvin Watkins: No. I know Ware didn't have his best season, six sacks, and was handled too easily by opposing tackles in 2013. But you have to take into account Ware's health. He dealt with elbow, back and quad injuries throughout the year. Ware never missed an NFL game in his career before missing three games due to a strained quad in the middle of the season. When healthy, Ware continued to be a dominant force, especially early in the season. Ware opened the season with an interception on the first play of the game and had six quarterback pressures in the season-opener against the New York Giants. It seemed Ware was on the way to a Pro Bowl-type season. But Ware disappeared too many times, and when you have a bad elbow, combined with a neck stinger, it's hard for you to push off and get pressure on the quarterback. The Cowboys have to evaluate whether Ware's health is the reason for a down year or he's just getting old. He's not taking a pay cut, so in the best interest of everyone involved, the Cowboys need to bring him back for one more season to redeem himself.

Todd Archer: I struggle with this one. The salary-cap guy in me says yes. Ware is set to count $16.003 million against the cap and make $12.25 million. That’s a lot of coin for a guy who played in 55 percent of the snaps last season and has been banged-up the past two seasons. Perhaps the Cowboys can get him to re-work his deal, although that seems unlikely. Perhaps the Cowboys bite the bullet and restructure his deal again, but that only delays what could be inevitable. The football guy in me says to give Ware another year. The Cowboys do not have somebody who can roll out of bed and get six sacks, like he did in 13 games in 2013, let alone 11.5, like he did in 2012. Ware was so good in training camp last summer that I just can’t believe he lost it over a couple of months. He will be motivated to have a return-to-form season because this is really the first time he has been questioned. Do the Cowboys want to see if they can get that type of season from Ware or see another team sign him as a free agent and get it out of him? It will not be an easy decision for Jerry Jones, who has not been known to make these types of decisions in the past.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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