Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said releasing defensive end DeMarcus Ware must be considered based on the franchise's excess spending putting them $20 million over the projected $132 million salary cap for 2014. But according to Ware, the team had yet to approach him about his contract.
Ware, the team's all-time leading sacker, and long-time receiver Miles Austin because of their age, injury history, declining play and high cap figures, are considered potential cap casualties.
Ware, 31, who had just six sacks last year and has undergone offseason surgery for a second straight year -- this time on his elbow -- has a $16 million cap figure along with a $12 million base salary for next year. Releasing him would create $7.4 million in cap space.
The Cowboys are considering all options with Ware, including asking him to take a pay cut or releasing him outright.
"There's a bunch of options," Jones said at the Scouting Combine. "You can restructure. You can take a pay cut. You can obviously not have the player. And it's not just DeMarcus. There's several players we have to look at."
The Cowboys could retain Ware by adding two or three years to his current contract and spreading the cap hit over that span. But it's the kind of overborrowing that painted Jones and the franchise into its current predicament.
"When I look back on it, we probably paid some people that we probably would have been better off not paying," Jones said.
Austin, 29, caught just 24 passes for 244 yards last year. He has an $8.2 million cap figure for 2014 and the Cowboys could save $5.5 million by cutting him.