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Fake News: DeMarcus Ware Never Took Pay Cut from Cowboys

Jess Haynie

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Fake News: DeMarcus Ware Never Took Pay Cut from Cowboys

Former Dallas Cowboys sack master DeMarcus Ware recently advised Dez Bryant that he should take a pay cut to help the Cowboys and remain on the team. Ware cited that other Dallas leaders such as Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and he had all done the same at certain points. One problem; none of that ever happened.

Ware said the following as part of a longer discussion on Dez's future in Dallas:

"With the $12 million that they owe him, $12.5 million for the next two years, you're going to have to take a pay cut to go and get the extra guys to help out your team and be that team player. I had to do it. Romo had to do it. Witten had to do it. All those guys have to do those things."

Even with our limited resources in our moms' basements, it didn't take much to debunk Ware's claim. Not only did DeMarcus never take a pay cut during his time with the Cowboys, but his refusal to do so was the exact reason why he ended up being released by Dallas and landing with the Denver Broncos in 2014.

Similarly, neither Romo or Witten have ever taken pay cuts. Even without Super Bowl rings, both were among the highest-paid players at their positions for the majority of their careers.

Perhaps Ware's comment was based on confusion, thinking about his deal being restructured rather than a true pay cut. All three players did restructure their contracts at numerous points, moving guaranteed money into later years to help create immediate cap space. This happens all the time in Dallas, with the most recent examples being our Pro Bowl offensive linemen.

But a restructure is NOT a pay cut. The total compensation does not change. All that changes is when paid bonus money is counted against the salary cap in each year of his contract. The player doesn't lose a dime in the end.

True pay cuts can happen. One occurred in 2013 when offensive tackle Doug Free agreed to a reduced overall salary to remain with the team and avoid being released. It happened again in 2016 when Brandon Carr took a salary reduction to stay in Dallas. These were not restructures; the players accepted lower salaries and overall compensation so they could keep being Cowboys.

Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant

This isn't to say that DeMarcus Ware is wrong about Dez Bryant. I agree that Bryant should take a pay cut given his performance level and effectiveness the last few seasons and what he projects to do going forward. Bryant is one of the most expensive receivers in the NFL and isn't giving the team the kind of franchise play that his salary suggests.

But Ware's inaccurate statement about his own history and that of other Cowboys figureheads needed to be challenged. DeMarcus was asking for Dez to do something that he and almost every other premiere player in the NFL would have, or actually have in Ware's case, refused to do.

Tom Brady signing a contract below market value is one thing. That is a new deal that he and the team agreed to in the interests of their mutual success. But asking Dez to accept a reduction on a contract he signed just two years ago with Dallas, based on his market value at that time, is a very different request.

If Ware was genuinely confused about a pay cut versus a restructuring, he should know that it's the Cowboys who've declined to move money around on Bryant's deal. They've kept his guaranteed amounts fixed to preserve leverage in case they do want to release him. Dez would happily take a restructure if it was offered; it increases his job security in later years.

So while larger media outlets are reporting Ware's advice to Dez as sage counsel from a Cowboys legend, don't believe the hype. Ware, Tony Romo, and Jason Witten never took the pay cuts that DeMarcus claimed. In fact, Ware specifically refused to do so when asked in 2014.

But what do I know? I'm just a blogger.


Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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8 Comments
  • Michael Hobock

    Really good info. Def a big diff in restructure vs pay cut. Agree that Bryant Should take a cut but i also think it’s clear that some of Dez’s issue is Dak. He doesn’t throw the deep ball well yet and doesn’t have the confidence to push the ball to dez when he’s covered like Romo would. Remember when the back shoulder throw was dynamite between Romo and dez? Dak and him need to get on same page.

    • kabob

      I think you’re still looking at the Romo years through rose-colored glasses. Or have you forgotten back-to-back-to-back 8-8 seasons and Romo only at his best when he threw less than 35 times a game? That that’s how he managed to keep the INTs below double-digits in 2014? Or that he was often inaccurate and forced throws to covered receivers? Romo was great but he was not a superior QB to Dak Prescott at the same point in their careers.

      • Michael Hobock

        Point I’m making isn’t about comparing dak and Romo. It’s about the usage of dez and his strengths vs weaknesses. Dak’s strengths aren’t in line with dez’s strengths. Romo was a better fit. Doesn’t mean dak can’t get better or they can’t get in better sync. Also, Romo didn’t throw a ton of picks. He had memorable games where he threw costly picks but his overall numbers were in line with other elite qbs. Misconception that always bothered me about Romo. He did more with less than a lot of others could have done

  • Troy M.

    It’s time to part ways with Dez. He isn’t worth the dollars he get’s, end of story. He drops n awful lot of balls, starting to remind me of Austin Miles. He is also a bit of a cancer on the sidelines, makes one wonder what it’s like in the locker-room.

    • Michael Hobock

      Dropped balls and unpolished route running are certainly blemishes on him but gotta remember that it isn’t easy to just go get a top end WR. Dak also has to bear some responsibility. He has to improve. If dez us willing to take a pay cut it would be worth it to keep him especially if he and dak and get on same page.

      • http://www.facebook.com/DallasCowboyBooksBlog fgoodwin

        Agreed Michael. I’m firmly in the camp that Dez is not worth his contract. But how do we replace him? “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know”.

  • Adam Mwakikoti

    Dak isn’t seasoned yet. This is what happens when you have a young QB. Is Dez as good as he was, no, but much of that is the guy throwing him the ball.

  • Jimmy Smith

    Dez is no DW and needs to move on. We need a WE1 whose biggest claim to fame is not dropping balls

Dallas Cowboys

REPORT: Cowboys DL David Irving’s Accuser Retracts Claims Of Domestic Violence

Kevin Brady

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David Irving

After what was a rather crazy day which resulted in reports the Frisco Police Department were investigating Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving for domestic violence, the accuser has now retracted her claims.

https://twitter.com/DCBlueStar/status/988527577915674624

This retraction comes after the mentioned reports of domestic violence claims against David Irving earlier in the day. Irving was neither arrested nor charged for the incidents, though two separate allegations were made.

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

Irving has claimed through his own social media account that his accuser is an ex-girlfriend looking for retaliation over a breakup. Irving has already said he has changed the locks on his house in attempt to change behavior moving forward.

Whether or not Irving abused his reported ex-girlfriend is not for me to say, but it will be interesting to see how Roger Goodell handles the matter after she retracted her claims later in the day. As we know very well, the NFL can claim violation of the personal conduct policy even if the justice system pursues no charges.

And the results of both the Frisco PD's investigation and that of the league office will be intriguing over the coming weeks and months.


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Player News

REPORT: Cowboys DE/DT David Irving Suspected of Domestic Violence

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

[4/24/18 UPDATE: Irving's accuser has since recanted with police. However, the NFL could still investigate under their domestic violence policy.]

ORIGINAL STORY

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving is under investigation by Frisco, TX police for charges of domestic violence, according to a report by Jobin Panicker of WFAA-ABC in Dallas.

The following was tweeted from Panicker's account not long ago:

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms it is investigating serious allegations against Cowboys player David Irving. No arrests. Assault-Bodily Injury, Unlawful Restraint, & Assault-Impeding Breath and Circulation @wfaa

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

The veracity of the accusations are certainly not ours to judge, but other recent events on Irving's social suggest he is in the middle of a breakup with his girlfriend. Posts early this morning on his Twitter account appeared to be from an unauthorized user, and David later posted on both Twitter and Instagram that someone had hacked him.

Furthermore, Irving shared that he was already taking steps due to the volatile situation.

David Ja Rodd Irving on Twitter

@DCBlueStar Changed the locks yesterday

While personal lives should stay that way, Cowboys fans are understandably concerned after what happened last year with Ezekiel Elliott. As we saw then, Roger Goodell's "justice" system allows for just an accusation to lead to a suspension. There is no burden of proof on the accuser.

And as in that case, even if the police dismiss the allegation, the NFL can still pursue the matter under the personal conduct and domestic violence policies.

It would be nice to just say "let the process play out," but the NFL commissioner doesn't hold himself to that standard. Therefore, we have to report this as it could mean consequences for David Irving and the Dallas Cowboys no matter how legitimate the claims are.


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Player News

Jaylon Smith Practicing Without AFO Brace

John Williams

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Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys' Ed Block Courage Award Winner 1

A lot of the talk circling the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL Draft is the need for the Cowboys to draft a linebacker as insurance to Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith's injury issues.

One of the questions, Sean Lee, will always be a question. When he's on the field, he's as good a linebacker as there is in the NFL. In 2016, he finally got in a near full season and rewarded the Dallas Cowboys with an All-Pro season that led the team to the playoffs. Talent has never been the issue with Lee. Keeping him on the field has been.

Jaylon Smith's question isn't his health as much as it is his recovery. The surgery to repair his ACL and MCL that he suffered at the end of his final season at Notre Dame was considered a success. There was a caveat, however, that there was no telling how much functionality would return because of the massive nerve injury that occurred.

Last year, Jaylon Smith actually played football games. No small step. In some games he made some plays and in other games, it was clear that he was still struggling with changing directions and running with receivers and running backs in coverage.

Time is Jaylon's biggest ally and another offseason removed from his injury should only help him get stronger and more confident in his recovering knee.

Lost in all of the Dez Bryant hoopla was a beautiful little nugget that Jaylon Smith teased Cowboys Nation with last week.

Jaylon provided a great look at his training regimen on the first day of team workouts and if you look closely, you'll see with a Clear Eye View that Jaylon Smith isn't wearing a brace, tape, or any other kind of support. On his knee or foot.

Jaylon Smith on Twitter

Focused vision, Determined belief, Earned dreams. #ClearEyeView

Remember that even after Jaylon was playing and practicing without a knee brace, he was still requiring an AFO brace to help with his foot drop.

Oh, how much one offseason can change things.

Mike Fisher, now of 247Sports.com, quoted Smith as saying, "I have more power and more flexibility now. And the dropfoot (issue) is fading. Absolutely!'' over on Scout.com, and there was this:

"As our colleague Bryan Broaddus has previously noted, it does seem that some of the testing is behind him, that the nerve is regenerating, that the repaired knee is stronger than ever and that more improvement is ahead of him. Smith's 6-2, 245-pound body is about as sculpted as is imaginable. His mind is sculpted, too, the result of his faith and his intellect and his personality and more. He suggests now that more improvement is inevitable, and that includes the medical improvement that is now, to him, simply "a matter of timing.'''

Mike Fisher - 105.3 The Fan and 247Sports.com

There is still a lot of hope around The Star and Cowboys Nation that Jaylon Smith can return to the All-American form that was projecting him as a top-five talent in the 2016 NFL Draft. If he's healthy and moving with better lateral movement and agility than he was in 2017, that's a huge step forward for Jaylon Smith and the Dallas Cowboys.

The progression of his knee and his confidence in said knee is going to be a huge determining factor in Dallas' plans to draft a linebacker. If they feel confident that he will be a more functional linebacker in 2018 than he was in 2017, then perhaps they could wait until day two or three to address the linebacker position.

We can't fully know their intentions as we get closer to draft day. How they address the linebacker position in the 2018 NFL Draft could give us an excellent indication of how they feel about Jaylon Smith's progression.

What we do know is that Jaylon Smith will never give up working toward being an elite middle linebacker. Let's hope he can realize his dreams. Everyone will be better for it.


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