Garrett: Ware can still be elite pass-rusher

February, 20, 2014
Feb 20
7:15
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- Before heading to the NFL scouting combine, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett met with DeMarcus Ware, who had surgery on his right elbow on Tuesday.

Ware
The discussion never ventured in Ware’s status with the team, considering his $16 million salary-cap figure in 2014, but more on what Ware needs to do to regain his Pro Bowl form.

Ware had a career-low six sacks in 2013 and missed three games with a quadriceps injury while dealing with a few injuries, like a stinger and the elbow issue. Garrett reiterated he wants Ware to practice more. Of the 96 practices the past two seasons in which a daily injury report was filed with the league, Ware was limited or out 43 times because of injuries.

Despite the injuries and the lack of production in 2013, Garrett believes Ware can be an elite pass-rusher.

“He was dealing with a number of different things throughout the course of the season,” Garrett said. “So he’s been a great football player for us. We still feel like he’s a young player. We’ve got to get him healthy and get him back to the form we’re all used to.”

But Garrett stopped short of guaranteeing Ware would remain with the Cowboys. Executive vice president Stephen Jones acknowledged on Wednesday Ware cannot carry that $16 million price against the cap. The Cowboys could restructure, ask Ware to take a pay cut or simply release him before March 11.

“We don’t want to get into all of these roster discussions right now,” Garrett said. “But I had a great meeting with him [Wednesday]. What we anticipate all of the guys on our football team to do is get ready to play in 2014. In DeMarcus’ case, he’s got to get himself healthy, get that elbow cleaned up, the other things he’s had to deal with and get himself ready to go and be his best version.”

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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