DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) — The agent for DeMarcus Ware is speaking out to set the record straight on Ware’s exit from the Dallas Cowboys.
In a conversation with 105.3 The Fan’s Shan Shariff, Pat Dye, Ware’s agent, contradicted reports that Ware was released because he was unwilling to take a salary reduction.
“DeMarcus, each of the last three years, has restructured his contract to create salary cap room just like they did with Romo and with Witten in the past. He’s always been very much a team guy,” said Dye.
Dye says that Ware and the Cowboys discussed his client’s contract over the course of seven days prior to free agency.
“If we were not willing to entertain a reduction and see what the Cowboys had in mind, I think we would have just flat-out said we’re not taking a pay-cut. There’s no point in talking. That was not the case.”
Dye acknowledged that Ware had a less than stellar 2013 while fighting injuries, but he also acknowledged that Ware’s salary wasn’t consistent with the Cowboys’ off-season plans.
“We certainly recognize that DeMarcus will be 32 in July and he’s has had some injuries and his production was down last year. For those reasons, we were willing to entertain a reduction. But I just don’t think it was going to be to the level the Cowboys could afford.”
In fact, Dye says that the Cowboys never made any offer to Ware, instead allowing the 31-year-old to explore the open market.
“Both [Jerry and Stephen Jones] made it clear — rather than us insult you with a proposal, why don’t y’all do your due diligence and see what the rest of the world thinks your market value is.”
“We went about that exercise and reconvened. Felt like we had a pretty good idea of what DeMarcus’ window would be in terms of average per year, shared that with them, and I think they came to a realization that there was no way they could do that and still accomplish the other goals and objectives that they had during the off-season — which is not just to keep one player, but to sign multiple players…particularly on the defensive side of the ball.”
When it became obvious that the Cowboys and Ware were not on the same page, Ware approached the Cowboys owner with a simple request.
“DeMarcus went and met with Mr. Jones on Tuesday — the day free agency started — and just said ‘If y’all are not going to be in that realm, I would really appreciate it if y’all would allow me the opportunity to go earn my market value and with that, have the freedom to choose where I might finish my career.'”
Ware was released on Wednesday, a move which allowed him to complete a three-year, $30 million deal with the Broncos — a contending team Ware is eager to join.
“With Peyton Manning there and Von Miller on the other side, playing in that division, with that football team in the AFC — he felt like that would give him the best opportunity to potentially play for a ring over the course of the remaining years of his contract.”
Dye expressed his client’s appreciation to the Jones family for allowing him his “freedom”, a move which ultimately paid dividends for Dallas. According to Dye, some of the Cowboys divisional opponents were very interested in his services, but Ware declined.
“It meant so much to DeMarcus that, there were teams in the NFC East that were dying to get him in for a visit. DeMarcus felt so appreciative and so grateful to Mr. Jones for allowing him his freedom, that he didn’t feel good about coming back and playing the Cowboys twice a year.”
Dye says there is no bitterness between Ware and the Cowboys, despite reports that Ware was upset and insulted by Jerry Jones’ comments at the NFL Combine.
“Mr. Jones apologized for sharing some of his internal thoughts about the age, the injuries, the production, relative to what DeMarcus was going to make. He didn’t deny those were his feelings, but he said ‘I should have communicated those to you directly before ever saying anything to the media about that.’ DeMarcus was disappointed that he had to read that…DeMarcus understands this is a business. He got past that pretty quickly.”
The split was “mutual”, “bittersweet”, and “best for both sides” — and the relationship is far from over.
“He’ll always be a Cowboy. He’ll keep a home there. And I feel certain he’ll come back there when he’s done playing.”
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