Demarcus Ware Dallas Cowboys

Has DeMarcus Ware begun his decline?

Dallas Sports Musings 

By Matthew Postins

Stephen Jones calls out the Cowboys defense. And he names names! Sean Lee! Jason Hatcher! Brandon Carr! Bruce Carter! And it means … absolutely nothing!

Stephen Jones isn’t the head coach. Stephen Jones isn’t the general manager. Call me when someone at Valley Ranch that actually has power to make decisions calls a player out by name and I’ll take notice. No disrespect to Stephen, but we all know who makes the decisions there. And it’s not him.

Need some hope this Sunday? Troy Aikman is calling Sunday’s game with Green Bay. The Cowboys are 3-0 when Aikman is in the building this season.

Yeah, we’re reaching more than a little bit.

The Cowboys are poised to give up the second-most total defensive yards in NFL history. The record-holder? The 2012 New Orleans Saints. What did they do to fix the problem? Hired Rob Ryan to coordinate their defense. So guess what Jerry has to do this offseason?

Yep, hire Rob Ryan. Good luck with that.

DeMarcus Ware is disputing the logic that he’s in decline. Elite players usually have a longer shelf life. But he is in his ninth season. This is the second straight season Ware has dealt with long-term injuries during a season. So the question has to be asked.

The last elite pass rusher I had the pleasure of covering was Tampa Bay’s Simeon Rice. At age 31 Rice had 14 sacks in 15 games. The next year Rice played half the season before suffering a shoulder injury and had just two sacks. He was never the same. The Bucs released him the next offseason and Rice played for two teams in his final NFL season, recording one sack.

I’m not saying Ware faces the same fate. But all great players go into decline. Some do it slowly. Some do it without warning. Given the money the Cowboys have tied up in Ware, they had better pray it’s a slow decline.

Some food for thought. The Cowboys’ record for their first seven seasons post-Jimmy Johnson was 63-49. That included five seasons of records that were .500 or better.

The Cowboys’ record for the first 6-plus seasons post-Bill Parcells, going into Sunday’s game, is 62-47. That includes five completed seasons of records that were .500 or better.

So, if the Cowboys go .500 this season they’ll match the post-Johnson record right down to the percentage. Eerie.

The bad news? The Cowboys’ combined record for 2000 and 2001, the two seasons after that seven-year sampling post-Johnson, was 10-22.

The Rangers offer Shin-Soo Choo seven years and a whole bunch of cash and he says … well, we’re still waiting. Right now it’s between the Rangers and Mariners. I don’t really see what the decision is here. The Rangers have been a winning team for four years and have all the tools to do it again. The Mariners have Robinson Cano and Feliz Hernandez and … a bunch of guys. You’re going to get similar financial offers. Seems to me if you can make money and win that clears up the decision-making, right?

The Rangers will go with a catching tandem of Geovany Soto and J.P Arencibia. The Rangers appear to be quite content to wait until their prized catching prospect, Jorge Alfaro, is ready for prime time. Estimated time of arrival is 2016.

Just wondering which quarterback castoff the SMU Mustangs will get for 2014. You know, Baker Mayfield just bolted Texas Tech …

Remember when the No. 1-seeded Dallas Mavericks lost to the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the 2007 NBA playoffs? Dirk Nowitzki took a chair to a wall outside the visitors’ locker room and left a gash. The Warriors never fixed it. Six years later they’ve put a Warriors T-shirt above the gash that says “We Believe: 2007 Playoffs.” Now that’s cold-blooded. One has to assume the wall won’t be going with them when they move to their new arena in San Francisco in a couple of years.

The Cowboys extend Orlando Scandrick’s contract through 2018.  I don’t have a real problem with rewarding Scandrick, who has had a fine year. But adding $1 million in guaranteed money to his 2014 salary year – and by extension the salary cap – isn’t at all smart.

One last thing. The Calgary Flames are interested in talking with Joe Nieuwendyk for their open general manager position. I love Joe, and I know he’s a Flames favorite, as he spent the early part of his career with them and helped the Flames to a Stanley Cup title. But I’m not sure I have much faith in him as a general manager. And did you know that, technically, he’s still under contract with the Stars? Great retirement plan, Niewy.

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