Stephen Jones said this week that the Dallas Cowboys were getting "the lay of the land" on DeMarcus Ware and Miles Austin, two high-priced veterans employed by a team with legitimate salary-cap concerns.
Austin is unlikely to survive the purge. Ware's situation is different. He's coming off his worst season but has been the face of the Cowboys' defense for a decade. Severing ties now would be an unusual move for a franchise known to hold on tight to name-brand products.
ESPNDallas.com reported that Cowboys coach Jason Garrett had a "long talk" with Ware on Wednesday. Garrett told reporters he believes Ware can regain the form that once made him one of the league's dominant pass rushers. On Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Garrett acknowledged that Ware needs to be healthy enough to practice more in 2014.
Though he'll turn 32 this summer, Garrett still sees the defensive end as a "young player."
These aren't the things a coach says when his team is getting ready to move on. Stephen Jones said the Cowboys have "several clear paths" to get under the salary cap. Releasing Ware is unlikely the road they'll choose.