Cowboys 1st and 10: Goodbye to DeMarcus Ware, Pinkie-Promise To Tony Romo?

In this weekend's edition of First and 10, I tip my hat to DeMarcus Ware on the week of his retirement, break down more free-agent moves, touch on Tony Romo's "pinkie-promise'' and — oh, yeah, Zeke

1. So we all know DeMarcus Ware retired this week. Thus ends the idea of Ware playing a final year as a third-down pass rusher.

Selected 11th overall in the 2005 NFL Draft, Ware ended up with 138.5 career sacks. He came along at the perfect time for the Cowboys, as they were ready to fully implement the 3-4 scheme that then-head coach Bill Parcells adored, and Ware was a perfect fit. It seems odd he was never an NFL Defensive Player of the Year, but he was everything else, including a Super Bowl champion with Denver in Super Bowl 50. He’s headed for the Cowboys Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, probably in that order. Plus, if you like your future Hall of Famers trouble-free off the field, Ware seemed to excel in that area, too. It’s actually a shame Ware decided to hang it up. He might have served to be a great influence on players like Ezekiel Elliott.

One last thing. I’ve heard some people say over the years that “All Ware does is rush the passer,” as a way of minimizing him as a player. So let’s add a few things to this. First, Ware had 80 tackles in a season twice in his career and had at least 50 tackles in eight straight seasons. Maybe he didn’t hold the edge on run plays like an All-Pro, but he did it capably. Third, levying that criticism at Ware is like saying Deion Sanders couldn’t tackle. First, Deion could, but he just wasn’t that great at it, in my opinion. Second, neither was paid tons of money to tackle. They were paid to make game-changing plays and both did at an All-Pro level for the majority of their careers. It was a criticism I never quite understood. You’re paying them to play to their strengths. Both did, and did so at a level few players have ever reached.

Ware is one of the best pass rushers in the history of the NFL and the Cowboys lucked out getting him 11th overall from a small school in Troy, Ala., that somehow lucked into getting him. Happy trails, D-Ware. Enjoy retirement and don’t be a stranger.

2. Ezekiel Elliott needs to knock this stuff off. We’ve all see the video by now of what Elliott did during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, pulling a woman’s top down to expose her breasts to parade goers. I’ve seen many people — many of them pinging my boss Mike Fisher on Twitter — that this is small potatoes. It’s not. At least it isn’t for me for three reasons.

First, it exposes a pattern of behavior. First the allegations last summer, then the partying earlier this offseason and now this. We wanted to assume that Elliott was mature coming out of school, especially since the allegations last summer really didn’t amount to anything legally. But this shows me he has a real maturity issue the team needs to address, if it can.

Second, it calls into question his respect for women. I don’t care if it “looked like she was asking for it.” That’s an excuse for small-minded people. He didn’t leave the woman a choice. He just did it. That’s wrong and there’s no other way to interpret that. I also don’t care if the woman was in Miami with Elliott this week, as 105.3 The Fan’s Shan Shariff reported. You still don’t pull a woman’s top down in public. Period.

Third, the NFL investigation into last year’s incident isn’t over and this adds to the information it can take into account as to whether it will punish Elliott.

Little things become big things and patterns of behavior can derail careers if they’re not addressed. Elliott needs to grow up a little bit and look at his quarterback, Dak Prescott, as a guide. Heard anything about him this offseason?


3. Was Tony Romo “really” using his kid to throw shade at the Cowboys?

I have no idea. In fact, I don’t know about shade unless it’s connected to a tree on a sunny day. But I do know this — I thought by now Romo would no longer be a Cowboy and he still is. And at this point the Cowboys are playing chicken using a bird with no head.

You’re not going to get anything for him, Jerry, unless you’re interested in trading Romo to Jacksonville. And you’re not. And he’s not. So just let it go before this gets out of hand.

PS: Fish is on the Romo story and will talk more about it on Sunday morning's "FISHNATO'' on 105.3 The Fan. And it's his position that this dialogue is "shady'' ...

Hawkins: “OK, deal? Pinky promise? Pinky promise!”


Tony: “What am I pinky-promising?”


Hawkins: “That deal! Ok? You’re gonna do it, ok? Pinky promise!”


Tony: “Is it good?”


Hawkins: “Uhuh. It’s good. It’s a good deal for me. It’s better for me, OK, Dad? It’s not for you, it’s for me.”

Tony: “Why would I take the deal then, if it’s better for you?”

4. This week on Debate Camp Matt Galatzan and I debated the merits of the Cowboys’ moves in the first week of free agency. I was a little more bullish on the overall net of what the Cowboys had done at that point than Galatzan, but our opinions should not be confused for this — the Cowboys have a long way to go before they address all of their needs and the sky is not falling. Check out the story below.

5. As for free agency, here is my quick analysis on the moves the Cowboys have made since my last First and 10 (losses and gains). Check out last week’s First and 10 above for my initial thoughts on the Cowboys’ Week 1 moves.


RB Lance Dunbar: A 1-year, $3 million deal with the L.A. Rams was too rich for Dallas. A nice player. But you don’t invest that kind of money to keep a player that’s limited to working third downs and special teams, if you can avoid it. Plus, he’s an injury risk. He’s only played 16 games in a season once.

DE Ryan Davis: The end agreed to a deal with the Buffalo Bills. He was depth, nothing more. Davis had 6.5 sacks in a season for Jacksonville in 2014. Damontre Moore had 5.5 sacks in 2014 for the Giants. I have to figure that makes this loss a wash.

CB Brandon Carr: A solid player and an even better guy in the community. He did everything the Cowboys asked him to do, including restructure his deal a few times. But the fact is the return on investment for the huge deal Carr signed wasn’t there (just seven interceptions in five seasons with Dallas) and he’s on the wrong side of 30. There just aren’t enough plusses for the Cowboys to make another commitment.

CB Morris Claiborne: Reportedly signed with the Jets for $5 million for one season. This is for a player, mind you, that has never played a complete season due to injury and has four career interceptions. No thank you. You pay that kind of money to an oft-injured player like Sean Lee, not Claiborne.


RB Darren McFadden: Cowboys signed him cheap and he can do just about everything Dunbar can. Plus he’s better in blitz protection. The Cowboys can trade Alfred Morris now, if they want to.

G Jonathan Cooper: The Cowboys add the former first-round pick to their stable on a team-friendly deal. He gives the Cowboys added flexibility if they have to move Zack Martin or La’el Collins outside to replace retired RT Doug Free.

Overall, the sky is not falling people. Yes, the Cowboys have some issues in the secondary (frankly, I felt the’d keep at least one of those four free agents). But it’s miles to go before the offseason is done.

6. Mike Fisher joined Jamie Horton on StarCast this week to talk the Dallas Cowboys. There is plenty to talk about — Ezekiel Elliott, free agency and more — in this week’s edition.

7. As if tight end depth wasn’t tight enough ….

The Cowboys are probably looking for a value pick at tight end in this draft. And, as luck would have it, I found one in my latest 7-round Cowboys mock draft. How convenient.

8. Tweet of the Week

I suspect Mr. Witten will be getting one of these from Mr. Ware the day he retires.

9. This week’s “Great Moments in Headline Porn:Skip Bayless explains why the Cowboys should trade for Richard Sherman” from

And next I’ll explain why I’m vomiting in my own mouth …

Bayless is like an old 1980s television at midnight — just a bunch of white snow and static, if the TV is even on.

And if you like more Bayless trolling (our Mike Fisher is no slouch there), follow SI’s Richard Deitsch on Twitter for gems like this:

10. One More Thing ….

Wow, so we’re gonna try this again, eh? OK … at least it’s in Dallas this time.

Matthew Postins is a columnist for You can reach him — or argue with him, if you wish — on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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