Cowboys’ decision on Ware could come Tuesday

Posted Monday, Mar. 10, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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As the start of free agency approaches at 3 p.m. Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys remain in limbo with defensive end DeMarcus Ware on whether he will take a pay cut to remain with the team or be cut from roster.

The Cowboys informed their all-time leader in sacks last week that they had no intentions of paying him his $12.75 million salary for 2014.

A decision could come as soon as Tuesday so both sides can move forward. If he is cut, the Cowboys would save $7.4 million against the cap, money they could use to sign other players in free agency.

The expected release of receiver Miles Austin will not happen on Tuesday, according to a source. But it will come. He will most likely be designated a post-June 1 cut, so the Cowboys won’t get immediate savings when that move occurs.

The team on Monday signed punter Chris Jones to his exclusive rights tender offer of $645,000 for 2015.

A number of teams have already expressed interest in defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and defensive end Anthony Spencer, according to a source. Both will be free agents, and though no team could sign them until 3 p.m, they began drawing interest as early as Saturday.

The Cowboys have said they want both to return in 2014 but plan to let the market determine the level of their interest.

The numbers are in on the new contract signed by guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, who took a pay cut with a two-year deal last Friday to keep his spot the roster and help the Cowboys get under the salary cap.

According to a source, Bernadeau had his base salary cut from $2.75 million in 2014 to $1.1 million. He saved the Cowboys $1.15 million against the cap.

In addition to his base salary, which was fully guaranteed, Bernadeau got a $500,000 signing bonus that will be paid Thursday. He can make an additional $400,000 in incentives.

His 2015 salary dropped from $3.25 million to $1.5 million. $400,000 of that is guaranteed, and he can make another $1 million with playing-time incentives. The deal saved the Cowboys $1.75 million off the 2014 cap.

Bernadeau came out OK, considering that the New York Giants whacked former Pro Bowl guard Chris Snee’s 2014 base salary from $7 million to $1.1 million.

Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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