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Dallas Cowboys likely to lose Jason Hatcher to free agency

Dallas Cowboys probably losing Jason Hatcher
Dallas Cowboys probably losing Jason Hatcher
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are in salary cap trouble and that may cost them their star defensive lineman Jason Hatcher. According to the iSports Times on Feb. 13, Hatcher will test the free agent market and Dallas will be unlikely to match the offers he receives.

The problem here is that, with DeMarcus Ware guaranteed so much money in 2014, it could mean that Dallas would have to choose between Ware and Hatcher, and no matter what they do they will hurt a defense that was already one of the worst in the NFL history in 2013.

Dallas is looking at being close to $24 million over the salary cap heading into 2014. That means they will have to cut players they might have otherwise wanted to keep and will need to restructure contracts, which will do nothing but put off the inevitable until later years.

The biggest moves right now looks like Dallas waiving Miles Austin, who is due a big raise in the upcoming season. There will be no one who wants to trade for the oft-injured Austin, so Dallas will just have to eat money there unless he finds a team to take a chance on him after they release him.

Other moves will include further restructuring of contracts for players like Tony Romo and Jason Witten. The Cowboys might also work with Ware on a restructured deal as well to lessen the hit to the salary cap in 2014. With Ware playing injured for much of the last two seasons, he might need to take a pay cut to stay with the Cowboys.

Regardless of all that, Jason Hatcher's new deal is something Dallas really can't afford to take on, which means losing their best defensive star last season. Without Hatcher, and possibly Ware, it will be hard for Dallas' defense to improve much in the new NFL season.