This offseason, three of the top four active sack artists in the NFL were on the market. DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers and Jared Allen all found themselves as free agents because they were over 30 years of age and had big contracts.
Closest to home was the case of DeMarcus Ware. He was among the best-loved Cowboys ever to play the game, a game-changer on the field and a role model off of it. But his $12.5 million salary and $16 million cap hit in 2014 (plus more back-loaded contract years to come) combined with injury and age to create a situation where the Cowboys were unwilling to move forward. Eventually after failed attempts at a pay cut, Ware moved on. The same situation (minus the injuries) could be applied to both Jared Allen and Julius Peppers.
Now, Allen has finally made his choice and signed with the Bears. The Cowboys flirted with signing Allen but his contract demands were just to rich. Dallas was also likely monitoring Peppers because of the Rod Marinelli connection, but he also signed a big contract with the Packers.
Allen's deal is estimated to be worth up to $32 million over four years, with $15.5 million guaranteed. Ware got $30 million over three years with $20 million guaranteed. Peppers got up to $30 million over three years with $7.5 million guaranteed.
In the past, those are the kinds of numbers and contracts the Cowboys would give out like candy. But the recent belt-tightening and edict of "stay away from big contracts to over-30 defenders" meant that the Cowboys passed on all three options for their pass-rushing specialist at defensive end.
So I ask you BTB, do you approve of what the Cowboys did relating to these three players now that you've seen the final contracts?