Demarcus Ware, seven-time Pro Bowler, the Cowboys' all-time sacks leader and all-around beast, will wear the blue star no longer. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill Jr. reports that Dallas released Ware today.
Ware has been a Cowboy since they drafted him with the 11th pick in 2005, a rare draft-day coup by Jerry Jones. He's been brutalizing offenses ever since, at least until the 2013 season, when he was hobbled by various injuries and recorded a career low six sacks.
The possibility that Ware's career might have peaked a couple of years ago played a role in the Cowboys' decision to cut him. The bigger factor was his $12.25 million salary, which weighed heavily given the team's struggles to stay under the salary cap.
Here's what Jerry Jones said in a statement to The Dallas Morning News:
"A decision like this, involving a man who is a cornerstone player in the history of your franchise, is extremely difficult," said Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones.
"After meeting this afternoon, DeMarcus and I agreed on an understanding that would allow him to explore the options he will have for the 2014 season and beyond. We were also in very strong agreement that playing for the Dallas Cowboys would be one of the options we would both be exploring.
"DeMarcus Ware, through his performance on the field and his outstanding character, is someone who is held in the highest regard within the Dallas Cowboys family. He is worthy of our greatest respect, and we want what is best for him and his family."
This guy's got the right idea, even if cider's the wrong beverage (cider):