It’s official, the Dallas Cowboys have released four-time All-Pro linebacker/defensive end DeMarcus Ware. The move will save the Cowboys $7.4 million in cap space, while they will also eat more than $8.5 million in “dead money.”
The 31-year-old Ware had asked the Cowboys to make a decision about his situation before free agency opened so he could pursue other opportunities if he wasn’t retained. To their credit, the Cowboys accommodated his request.
Ware also apparently believes he’ll do well in free agency.
Ware has been a standout during his 10-year career, all spent in Dallas. Since being selected with the 11th pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Ware has been a terror for opposing offenses to deal with. He has a whopping 117 career sacks in 141 games since entering the league.
The Troy product has also been remarkably durable during his career, missing just three games since his time in the NFL began.
Ware led the NFL in sacks twice (2008, 2010), is a seven-time Pro Bowler, and has been a four-time First-team All-Pro and a three-time Second-teamer. He was also the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2008, while also winning the NFL’s Butkus Award in 2008 and 2011.
In 2013 Ware had a down year by his standards. After switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, he moved to defensive end from outside linebacker. He had just six sacks in the 13 games he played.
Ware will certainly garner attention on the free agent market and will likely fit well with a team looking for a 3-4 edge rusher. His body has a lot of miles on it, but there is no way he’ll be on the market for long. Someone with his credentials should get a decent contract very quickly.