Joel Corry of CBS Sports takes a look at the NFL teams in the worst shape heading into offseason.
At the top of his list sits the Dallas Cowboys who are projected to be over the 2014 salary cap by $25 million or so. According to Corry, Dallas can free up $22.504 million of cap room by converting a portion of QB Tony Romo‘s 2014 salary into a signing bonus, restructuring ILB Sean Lee‘s new deal and adding 2018 voidable years to TE Jason Witten and CB Brandon Carr‘s contracts.
That still leaves them close to $2.5 million over the cap. This is where DE DeMarcus Ware comes into play. As Corry mentions that the Cowboys could approach Ware regarding a pay cut or possibly even cut him loose now that his production has dipped and his salaries are increasing.
Ware, 31, has a cap figure close to $16 million for the 2014 season and a base salary of $12.75 million. He has been limited to just 11 games and has seen his sack totals decrease from 11 in 2012, to just six this season.
Corry adds that if Ware was to agree to a pay cut, the Cowboys could include incentives based on total sacks as a way to offset the money he would be giving up.
Both DE Jason Hatcher and DE Anthony Spencer will be unrestricted free agents in matter of months, which means the Cowboys could be in danger of losing both of them. Parting ways with Ware would at least give them some financial flexibility to possibly keep one of them.
This remains just a speculative idea, but Corry’s article is a fascinating read that outlines a possible offseason plan for the Cowboys. For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus has Ware rated as the No. 9 4-3 defensive end this season.