There are growing concerns over the effectiveness of longtime defensive staple DeMarcus Ware.
It seems age and injuries are catching up to the former All-Pro defender, and his play slipped this season. And that’s why there are questions over his future with the Dallas Cowboys, as Ware is set to earn $12.25 million next year and will count for more than $14 million against the salary cap.
“We’ve got a lot of things to digest that we adjusted because of cap penalties we got and we pushed them forward,” owner Jerry Jones said. “We may have to make some tough decisions related to some high salaries.”
Ware said he would be willing to take a pay cut this off-season if it was for the benefit of the team.
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“At the end of the day, I’m a team player,” Ware said. “I’ll do what I need to do to help the team.”
Asked if he thought Sunday might be the last game for him with the Cowboys, Ware said: “I think about it sometimes, but that’s sort of the last thing on my mind. I’ve just got to get my body right for whatever opportunities await me.”
Ware went on to reveal a laundry list of injuries he’s dealt with this season. He had issues with both of his elbows, a torn right quadriceps that sidelined him for three consecutive games and a herniated disk in his back that flared up.
But Ware did his best to play through it and had two tackles and a fumble recovery in the season finale. He finished with a career-low six sacks this season.
Jones said he has no concern about Tony Romo’s future after the team’s starting quarterback had his second back surgery in eight months.
The Cowboys committed $55 million in guaranteed money to Romo in March. A month later, Romo had a cyst removed from his back. He had surgery to repair a herniated disk on Friday morning.
“The nature of his injury was not alarming,” Jones said after Sunday’s game. “As a result of what they saw when they had the surgery, it’s not alarming as to his future. It wasn’t complicated. It was readily addressable and should frankly expect the kind of rehab or recovery he had earlier with the cyst-type situation.”
Romo watched the game from home.
By losing, the Dallas Cowboys know their final two opponents for next season. They will play New Orleans at home and Chicago on the road next year.
Along with their NFC East games, the Cowboys will play Arizona, San Francisco, Houston, Indianapolis and New Orleans at AT&T Stadium. They will be on the road against St. Louis, Seattle, Tennessee, Jacksonville and Chicago. The Jacksonville game will be played Nov. 19, 2014, at Wembley Stadium in London.
Jason Witten has long been a security blanket for Romo, and he served in that role for Kyle Orton.
The veteran tight end found open space against the Eagles’ defense and finished with his best statistical game in terms of receptions and yards. Witten had 12 catches for 135 yards, his third 100-yard receiving game this year.
As Jones predicted, the Cowboys had their second-largest crowd of the season against the Eagles with 91,166 fans on hand. That trailed only the Denver game in October (92,758).
The Cowboys had a total attendance figure of 704,345 for the regular season, an average of 88,043 a game.