The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of problems. Demarcus Ware is not one of them. The Dallas Cowboys have to make a decision on what they plan to do with the defensive icon of the Dallas Cowboys for the last decade in Demarcus Ware. Will they restructure his contract? Will they trade him? Will they release him? These are the options that one of the best defensive players in Cowboys history faces this offseason. Why? We all know why. Because Jerry Jones’ decision making has forced the Cowboys to make painful financial decisions involving their roster for the future.
The financial situation for the Cowboys is one of many problems they are facing. The issues the Cowboys are facing are not something that came out of thin air. It has been 20 years in the making. This past season was another painful year that Cowboys fans have sadly become accustom to.
March 29th 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the resignation of head coach Jimmy Johnson. Jimmy Johnson and Owner, General Manager, and Team President Jerry Jones had an internal dispute which forced Johnson to resign. A lot of Cowboys fans believe that Johnson was actually fired, and that Jones and Johnson agreed to a “resignation” to avoid bigger media frenzy. It’s possible right? Jones was the same guy who fired Cowboys legendary head coach Tom Landry and general manager Tex Schramm. The Jones-Johnson dispute came after winning two superbowls in a row. March 29th 1994 is a day that will live in infamy for the Dallas Cowboys and their fans. Since this day, the franchise has been on a consistent yet inconsistent roller coaster.
The Cowboys haven’t won a Superbowl since the 1995 season; just two seasons after Jimmy Johnson left Owner, General Manager, and Team President Jerry Jones with a really good thing that was hard to mess up. It was the 5th Superbowl in franchise history. That Cowboys team was built by former head coach Jimmy Johnson and was “lead” by head coach Barry Switzer.
The 1996 season came; the Cowboys went 10-6 and won the NFC East. They beat the Minnesota Vikings in the wildcard round of the playoffs until their eventual loss in the divisional round to the Carolina Panthers. Little did the Cowboys and their fans know that for the next 17 seasons, they would only win one playoff game which came during the 2009 season against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium with a final score of 34-14. The Cowboys would then get blown out by the Minnesota Vikings just one week later with a final score of 34-3.
Barry Switzer left the Cowboys after the 1997 season. Owner, Team President, and General Manager Jerry Jones has tried everything. Players have changed, and most importantly coaches have changed. Jerry needed to find a new Jimmy Johnson. Jerry tried everyone from Chan Gailey, to Dave Campo, to dragging Bill Parcells out of retirement, to Wade Phillips, to current Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett.
During that span, the Cowboys have only had a winning record seven times, a losing record six times and a .500 finish four times including the last 3 seasons. The last tree seasons also featured the Cowboys losing the NFC East on week 17 to define their 8-8 seasons. Sure there were a few fun times during this span. The 2003, 2007, and 2009 seasons come to mind but even those seasons at the end of the day ended up being a failure.
When Jones’ dragged Parcells out of retirement, at the time it looked like a great decision. Only a man like Jerry Jones could turn a great thing bad, I mean this is the same Jones who had a dispute with a head coach who bought in a load of talent which ultimately led to three Superbowl’s. Jerry would surely learn from his own mistake. Nope, it didn’t happen. After the 2006 playoff lost to the Seattle Seahawks, Bill Parcells retired, and Jones bought in Wade Phillips. Phillips was hired over Assistant Head Coach and offensive coordinator under Bill Parcells in Sean Payton.
During this time period between 1997 and 2013, the Cowboys have a record of 136-136 with one playoff win, the poster board of mediocrity. The Cowboys have changed QBs, RBs, and receivers. They have changed players on the defense, they’ve changed scouts, they’ve changed coordinators, and as I mentioned earlier, they’ve changed head coaches. One person a part of the Dallas Cowboys franchise has not changed, and that person is the Owner, General Manager, and Team President. That person is Jerry Jones.
This leads us to today. Jerry Jones now wants to get rid of Demarcus Ware. Demarcus Ware came in drafted in the first round as an outside linebacker from Troy University during the 2005 season. Parcells drafted Ware. From 2005-2013, nobody in the NFL has more sacks then Demarcus Ware.
Ware has served as a captain on the Cowboys defense since 2007. Ware is tied for the record of most seasons leading the league in sacks. Those seasons came in 2008 and 2010. By the end of the 2012 season, Ware had recorded 10 or more sacks in 7 straight seasons. This came in a season where Ware was injured most of the 2nd half of the season.
Then came 2013, the Dallas Cowboys had another new defensive coordinator in Monte Kiffin who replaced Rob Ryan after Ryan was fired by Jerry Jones. In 2013, the Dallas Cowboys ranked last in the NFL in total defense. Ware played in 13 games and had six sacks. Ware’s six sacks were the lowest since his rookie year. Ware at age 32 has been riddled by injuries over the last two seasons. Some have started to wonder is age and “father time” catching up with Ware. Ware is expected to make $12.5 million this year. Ware is also expected to count $16 million against the salary cap.
Some may say with Ware’s age and with Ware’s injuries that the Cowboys would be in better position against the cap to compete with better and younger talent. With that said, this is Jerry Jones that is running the Cowboys. With his record of blaming and firing everybody else but himself and his record of leading to years and years of being average and mediocre, one can make a strong determination that releasing Ware will do nothing to make the Dallas Cowboys a better football team and with the hard work, leadership, and loyalty that Demarcus Ware has given the Cowboys, the last thing Demarcus Ware should have to do is pay for Jerry Jones’ mistakes.