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FA Notes: Two Stars Gone, Hatcher Visits, Two Added
IRVING, Texas – The face of the franchise and a veteran wide receiver with two 1,000-yard seasons in Dallas both left town within a 24-hour span.
The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind for the Cowboys at the start of free agency after a quiet start to the offseason. Both DeMarcus Ware and Miles Austin have been cut in that time period. Both moves alone signal a major change for the organization, as the Cowboys attempt to open more cap space and move another direction.
When it came to additions, though, the start of free agency signaled a flurry of activity around the NFL without much noise once again for the Cowboys.
Dallas signed defensive end Jeremy Mincey and defensive tackle Terrell McClain to bolster the depth of the defensive line, but their additions thus far in free agency haven’t been major and aren’t necessarily replacements for a player of Ware’s caliber.
The Cowboys appear to be using the money saved from Ware’s deal to get multiple affordable players, rather than making one or two splash signings. More deals are still sure to come.
Meanwhile, just a day into free agency, Ware already found a new landing spot in Denver for three years and $30 million, which reportedly includes $20 million guaranteed.
In addition to that, free agent defensive tackle Jason Hatcher is in the process of taking visits to potential suitors, including the Seahawks and the Raiders. He reportedly plans to
visit at least five teams. The Cowboys could still make a play for Hatcher, who’s coming off a career high 11-sack season, but they’ll need to move fast given the interest he’s garnered so far.
Here’s everything that’s gone on for the Cowboys during free agency.
- The Cowboys let go of their all-time sack leader, and it barely took any time for Ware to find his new home. Ware went to seven Pro Bowls with the Cowboys and totaled 117 sacks with the Cowboys. Owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Dallas would still be an option Ware could explore for the 2014 season and beyond, but it took just a day for the star defensive end to head elsewhere.
- Former third-round pick McClain signed with the Cowboys on Wednesday. Here’s an in-depth look at the defensive tackle, who played in all 16 games with the Texans last season. McClain would likely fit in as a 1-technique in Rod Marinelli’s scheme.
- Veteran defensive end Mincey, a sixth-round pick in 2006 with 20 career sacks, also signed in Dallas the same day as McClain. Mincey’s best season came in 2011, when he tallied eight sacks.
- The Cowboys made their release of veteran receiver Miles Austin official, designating him a post-June 1 cut. Austin caught 301 passes for 4,481 yards and 34 touchdowns since joining the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2006.