Not so long ago, the Giants front four was one of the most feared in the NFL. This offseason, the defensive line is littered with question marks. Will Justin Tuck leave during free agency? Is the price tag for Linval Joseph too high to re-sign him? Will Mathias Kiwanuka be cut for salary cap reasons? Will Jason Pierre-Paul be able to stay healthy? All of these are of course hypotheticals for the Giants and they can’t predict the future. However they must be willing to explore all options to fix any of these possible problems.
Another hypothetical situation that is garnering a lot of attention this off-season is the Cowboys possibly cutting pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. Dallas’ salary cap issues could force them to cut players they don’t necessarily want to so they can shed the more than $20 million they need to so they can get under the cap. Ware is scheduled to make $12.5 million this year and counts for $16 million against the cap.
On Monday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told ESPN that despite having some more cap space added to the initial estimated cap it still might not be enough to keep their best defensive player who hasn’t been on the field much in the past two seasons. This past season was clearly Ware’s worst. He missed three games with injury and only managed a career low six sacks.
Despite recent injury problems and drop in production, he still remains one the league’s premier pass rushers. From 2006-2012 Ware managed to get at least 11 sacks and Pro Bowl honors in each season. If the Cowboys do decide to cut the former All-Pro it would be crazy if the Giants didn’t at least kick the tires. Ware could still help a pass rush that ranked 25th in sacks last season.
The Giants won’t have a ton of money to sign Ware, but they might not need it. Ware is coming off elbow surgery and will turn 32 before training camp begins. It also may be enticing for a Ware to play against the team that cut him. Although last season didn’t go the way the Giants planned they still were the preseason favorites to win the division. They also have won two Super Bowls in the last seven years and Ware may like the idea of playing for a team that contends every year. The Cowboys on the other hand have missed the playoffs every year since 2010 and in the last three seasons have lost to all three divisional foes on the last game of season to clinch their post season fate.
While signing a younger defensive end would be better for the future, Ware could add fill the leadership void left by Tuck and other veterans the Giants may have to part ways with. Young players like Damontre Moore and Pierre-Paul would benefit from a future Hall of Famer acting as their mentor. Then again it’s too soon to be jumping to such conclusions. As of now Ware is still a Cowboy, but as the off-season goes on the tension between he and the Cowboys grows and could only be a matter of time before he hits the open market.