IRVING, Texas — The activation of a cap-relief clause in DeMarcus Ware’s contract is a done deal, according to Dallas Cowboys sources, who tell FOXSportsSouthwest.com that the cap-crunched franchise is working feverishly to pull the same levers that were installed in the deals given Jason Witten and Brandon Carr.
A change in Witten’s contract could give Dallas more than $2 million of room. A source said a Carr lever would save “substantially more” than that in space. The Ware moves provides about $4 million in room … But none of this is about the “generosity” of the player. These “levers” being pulled change non-guaranteed money into guaranteed bonuses – in Ware’s case, a check for $5 million.
This represents creativity on Dallas’ part, but it’s also a series of “credit-card” moves that can eventually damage the team’s ability to assemble and pay a contending-caliber roster. Immediately, however, the Cowboys view themselves as “close.” They are therefore willing to pay the guarantees as a way to chop away the $20 million they are presently over the cap.
A different sort of negotiations will ensue with other Cowboys like Doug Free, Jay Ratliff, Miles Austin And others who may be asked to take pay cuts in order to remain with the team.
A third and most important level of negotiations is also coming for quarterback Tony Romo. The Cowboys can make room by giving Romo an extension, with plans this offseason to have him under contract for four or five more seasons.