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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Ware, Hatcher And Spencer - Mulling Defensive Line Options

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TGIF!

Ronald Martinez

Cowboys Not Closing Door On Re-Signing Hatcher - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com
Eatman writes that the word around Valley Ranch is the Cowboys are crunching some numbers just to see what it might cost to bring Hatcher back.

If the Cowboys are to bring back Hatcher, it’s going to have to be at the right price, and a price that will probably be determined after a week or two in free agency. The door will likely be open for Hatcher to look elsewhere. But the Cowboys won’t be shutting it behind him.

Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald Was Your Combine MVP — FootballPerspective.com
Chase Stuart crowns the Combine MVP, and if you've been paying any attention to our "Tale Of The Tape" series, you won't be surprised to find that Aaron Donald walks away with the title. Stuart runs regressions on all participants and drills to find the expected performance based on a player's weight and/or height, then looks at the difference between the expected and the actual results. Interesting stuff.

Scrimmage line set? Comments indicate Cowboys, Ware face tough negotiations | David Moore, DMN
David Moore writes that while the Ware camp and the Cowboys camp have not had any talks yet, there's a lot of posturing as both sides publicly stake out their ground.

When Jones declares "it will be a very difficult call for us because of how much salary cap he uses,’’ he’s not saying the club will release Ware. He’s trying to create a level of doubt and uncertainty that he can leverage in negotiations. He’s trying to establish a climate that will have Ware willing to accept less.

Dallas Cowboys should keep DeMarcus Ware - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
Watkins runs down the options the Cowboys have with Ware and concludes that the team should give it one more shot with Ware.

Cowboys need to do their best to keep DeMarcus Ware - Sporting News
Vinny Iyer argues that while Jerry Jones may be willing to make the tough cuts this year, there's no reason he should with Ware:

Given the Cowboys' challenge of already trying to re-sign free-agent defensive linemen Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer, Ware can offer them the out of an adjusted salary they should work to take. He may no longer be the same dominant edge player, but that still makes him better than most. That's before getting to his leadership on the field and presence in the locker room.

The Free-Agent Countdown, 50 to 1 | The MMQB
Greg Bedard ranks the top free agents in the market and takes a stab at predicting where they would best fit. Notably, he doesn't have a single one of the Top 100 free agents as a fit with Dallas, but he does have Jason Hatcher ranked 38th:

A move to the 4-3 and three technique was a boon for Hatcher, who put up a career-high 11 sacks and was one of top interior linemen in the league. Best fit: Falcons. They think they’re close, which means a need for instant rush from the interior.

Counting down the top NFL free agents of 2014, from 100-51 | The MMQB
Anthony Spencer comes in at No. 82 in Bedard's countdown:

Played only 34 snaps last year after microfracture surgery for a knee injury; only started running recently. That will push the market down for him. Best fit: Buccaneers. Lovie Smith likes to have veterans around, and Spencer could have something left.

A free-agent WR to watch if Cowboys cut ties with Miles Austin | Jon Machota, DMN
Machota suggests free agent WR and former Detroit Lion Nate Burleson could be an option for the Cowboys in free agency, since Scott Linehan is familiar with him and Burleson "probably won't get too much money on the open market."

Salary cap expected to make nearly $10M jump in 2014 - NFL.com
General managers and players across the NFL can rejoice. The NFL's Albert Breer reported Thursday the cap is expected to be set at $133 million, and an official number could come as soon as Friday.