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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys Want To Re-Do DeMarcus Ware's Deal

Latest Cowboys headlines: The Cowboys want DeMarcus Ware to take pay cut; Jason Witten believes Tony Romo will return better than ever; Aaron Donald is shooting up the draft boards.

Jamie Squire

Dallas Cowboys want DeMarcus Ware to take pay cut - ESPN Dallas
Citing a source, Archer writes that Cowboys have told Ware that they definitely want to keep him, but not at his current salary of $12.25 million and cap number of $16 million. Now the team has to decide just how much they want Ware.

Jason Witten: Tony Romo will return better than ever | Jon Machota, DMN
Witten addressed Romo's health and Romo's restructured contract on Tuesday.

"He’s going to come back better than ever," Witten said. "He understands the urgency [to win now]. Most importantly, he’s working his tail off to give us the best chance to do that. That’s all we can ask at this point, get healthy and come back stronger, so we have a better football team."

"It’s all about competing for a championship," Witten said. "He’s going to do everything that he can. Obviously that’s part of the situation we’re in with the cap, that we have to get under. Hopefully add a couple pieces to our roster that can give us a chance to make that run."

‘Energized’ Jason Witten talks about looking for playoff success in 2014 | Jon Machota, DMN
After the last few seasons, Witten feels a distinct sense of urgency to get back into the playoff s and continue from there.

"At this point, literally every day it’s about, ‘How can you do your part to be part of a championship team?’ That’s the legacy I want to have and one I want to be a part of. This franchise has had a lot of it, but for us, we haven’t experienced that. It’s been a tough 3-4 years here in the way that we came up short, but it’s got to motivate you to come out on the other end."

Dallas Cowboys hope to quiet hamstring issues - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Archer explains that the Cowboys in order to avoid a repeat of the hamstring issues that have plagued them for the last two years, the Cowboys have studied other teams’ approaches and injury numbers to come up with a solution. Without gong into specifics, that solution will likely revolve around cutting back on the time spent on the field, especially early in the offseason, and tweaking the daily schedule.

Tyron Smith's Pro Bowl Parting Gift: Tendonitis | Richie Whitt, NBC 5 DFW
Smith is battling tendonitis in his right knee, likely a result of playing in the Pro Bowl after taking a month off from physical activity.

"I think I played the whole game," Smith told me over the weekend. "I was gassed. And I played on the right side. My mind and my body weren’t used to that. I mean, it was a great experience and I’m honored to have been chosen, but …"

Woodson Says Cowboys Need Veteran Help Alongside Church - Nick Eatman,
Darren Woodson argues that the Cowboys need some veteran on-field leadership at safety.

"They need a well-rounded guy like George [Teague] was. He was probably the smartest person I’ve ever played with," Woodson said. "A guy that lines everyone up and calms everything down. That’s what they need. It doesn’t matter if the guy is cocky or arrogant, it needs to be someone people respect and will say, ‘this guy knows his stuff.’"

Contract killers: Players who hurt their free-agent value in 2013 -
Chris Burke looks at players who failed to improve their worth to potential new employers in 2013. One of them is Anthony Spencer.

On the plus side for Spencer, he ought to have plenty of cash banked following back-to-back franchise tags from the Cowboys. The negative, though, is that he missed the 2013 season after requiring microfracture knee surgery. Hence players’ issue with the franchise tag — had Spencer made it to free agency prior to ’13, he would have done so off a breakthrough 11-sack campaign. Now, he’s an aging pass-rusher coming off a major injury.


Sorting through Dallas Cowboys' draft needs - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Jerry Jones dropped some pretty clear hints about what the Cowboys are going to do in the draft about corners, tight ends and outside linebackers: Not much.

He said drafting a corner "could be stacking it up," too much with Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne. He said tight end would not be a position of need with Jason Witten and Gavin Escobar. He said "not necessarily" wide receiver, either. The Cowboys like DeMarco Murray a lot, but "that doesn’t mean we won’t bring in another potentially very competitive running back in at all." He said a strongside linebacker would not be much of a need because of its lack of importance in the 4-3. He mentioned liking what they have at safety but would not rule out a draft pick.

Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams facing pressure this offseason - Don Banks,
Banks formulates a to-do list for the Cowboys with the most important tasks the front office must must get done this offseason.

Hatcher probably will elicit an offer too big for Dallas to contend with, but Spencer and Ware might both make their way back to the Cowboys, leaving defensive tackle the obvious focus in the first round of the draft. Fortunately for Dallas, defensive tackle talents like Pitt's Aaron Donald and Florida State's Timmy Jernigan should be available at No. 16, and safety, another area of need, is also a fairly deep position in this year's draft. Lastly, finding a backup quarterback should Kyle Orton retire is another critical item on the offseason to-do list.

Mayock: Pitt's Aaron Donald now is No. 1 DT in the draft -
Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald is the new No. 1 defensive tackle in NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock's updated position rankings.

The Notebook: Aaron Donald, master of technique -
Stephen White, former defensive end in Tampa Bay (1996-01) and the Jets (2002) took a closer look at Aaron Donald, only to find a player who will make some team very happy it drafted him. Here's an excerpt of where he calls Donald a "Marinelli guy":

It doesn't much matter where you put this guy on first and second down, anyway. He is going to come out of the gate boosting somebody's pass rush on third down, period. That is why I believe Donald won't make it past the Dallas Cowboys picking at No. 16. Many moons ago the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, on their defensive line coach Rod Marinelli's strong suggestion, drafted Anthony McFarland in the first round even though they already had a future Hall of Famer in Warren Sapp. The ensuing years played out much like the scenario I just explained.

Donald would, in many ways, be a perfect fit for the Cowboys. With last year's three technique, Jason Hatcher, likely leaving via free agency, Donald would fill an immediate need. If he lasts until the 16th pick, he will likely be the best player available, anyway. Even with his questionable effort at times, I have to think Marinelli will see a lot of Geno Atkins in Donald and pound the table for the Cowboys to take him so that Donald can be a cornerstone for a new foundation after the defense's wretched performance last season under Monte Kiffin.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that Donald should not drop that far. Even with the intermittent effort issues, this guy plays at a level, technique-wise, that I haven't seen from a college defensive lineman in the last decade. Yes, I'm including Atkins, Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh, Marcell Dareus, Nick Fairley and anybody else you can name. None of them had what this kid has at that point in their football lives.

D-Line Is Preferable But Not Opposed To O-Line - Bryan Broaddus,
Broaddus argues that value for defensive linemen can be found in the second and third rounds, and that perhaps drafting an offensive lineman in the first round would be a better option.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald and he is a perfect scheme fit here but I am also looking at the value of a player like Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin, who could start out as your guard then move to tackle when you are moving on from Doug Free. My plan would be to try and develop an offensive line of young starters that when I have to make that switch at quarterback, my young guy has a chance.

Safety Deone Bucannon’s draft stock is rising | The Seattle Times
During his four years at Washington State, Deone Bucannon established a reputation as one of the most-ferocious hitters in the Pac-12 conference and finished his career with some eye-popping numbers.

NFL might experiment with making extra-point attempts longer -
The NFL Competition Committee is thinking about placing the ball at the 25-yard line for the extra-point kick -- which would make it a 42-yard attempt -- rather than the 2-yard line, where it is currently placed. A longer extra-point try certainly would make things more interesting and require significantly more strategizing.

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