Cowboys will have to pay up to keep Ware

Dallas has showered lucrative contract extensions on wide receivers Terrell Owens and Roy Williams, quarterback Tony Romo and cornerback Terence Newman. Yet, its most expensive extension, if it can get done, is on deck.

Cowboys Pro Bowl linebacker DeMarcus Ware has one year remaining on a contract that expires after the 2009 season, right before what could be an uncapped year.

In recent seasons, Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney signed a six-year, $72 million contract and Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen signed a six-year, $74 million contract. Ware’s asking price is going to start there.

At the age of 26, Ware has evolved into the game’s most feared pass rusher, a defensive end that could wind up setting the NFL’s single-season sack record …┬áif not this year, then certainly any season in the future.

This season, Ware has 19 sacks and is four short of breaking the record that former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan set during the 2001 season with 22.5 (NFL sack records).

Each sack drives up Ware’s price. He and the Cowboys already have engaged in some contract talks. But if and when the deal gets done, it will be the richest one in Cowboys franchise history.

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