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March 06, 2014

Per source, Ware will listen to Cowboys offer of reduced deal; but knows he will be coveted as FA

Per a source, former Pro Bowl defenseive end DeMarcus Ware doesn't want to take a pay cut but will listen to the Dallas Cowboys thoughts about a reduced deal.

He also hopes for a quick resolution.

The Cowboys informed Ware and represensatives earlier this week about their need to lower his salary and cap figure for next year by either a pay cut or a release from the roster.

Ware is due a base salary of $12.25 million in 2014 with a salary cap hit of $16 million. The Cowboys would save $7.8 million if they cut Ware.

However, the Cowboys say they want the team's all-time leading sacker back in 2014 but at a reduced salary, pointing to his age, declining numbers and injury history.

Ware will be 32 next season and recently underwent surgery for second consectuive off season. He had a career-low six sacks in 2013 when he has hampered by neck, quad and elbow injuries.

 According to source, Ware expects to be back to his old dominant ways after surgery to repair nerve damage in his elbow last month. He will listen to the Cowboys thoughts on a reduced deal but remains hesitant about aking a major shave in salary.

Ware, who is shoo-in for the Cowboys' hallowed Ring of Honor and likely future Hall of Famer, is expecting to draw a lot of intereted on the free-agent market if he is released.

No hard and deadline has been given but a quick decision would be best for both sides, per a source.

 The Cowboys must shave another $600,000 to get under their 2014 salary cap of $134.25 million by March 11. They can make other moves to clear space but a decision on Ware would allow them to get under as well as set a game plan for the start of free agency.

The Cowboys must address the defensive end position in the draft and free agency. Without Ware, it makes the situation even more acute because there are no players on the roster with talent or production.

Even during an injury-plagued and limited 2013 campaign, Ware was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the ninth-most productive 4-3 defensive end as a pass-rusher and third in run-stop percentage.

Ware was picked 11th overall by the Cowboys in 2005. He has 117 sacks in nine years to rank first in team history and 18th in NFL history.

Clarence Hill




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