Jones released aging, unproductive defensive tackle Jay Ratliff last season, as he should have. Ware is gone and receiver Miles Austin will soon join him. Jones should set a modest price for Hatcher, who had a career-high 11 sacks last season and made the Pro Bowl. If he accepts it, fine. If not, then let him leave. The same goes for Spencer.
The worst thing a GM can do in today's NFL is pay age. It just doesn't work because the game is too physical, too violent.
As is the case with Ware, the name on the back of the jersey remains the same, but the talent fades. This is a young man's game, and the GM must be ruthlessly pragmatic.
Such is life in the NFL.
Jones must continue to purge the roster of age. The only way to do that is to draft well, something the Cowboys really haven't done consistently for years, and use free agency to plug small holes.
The only guys who receive huge contracts should be draft picks who have excelled for multiple seasons.
Do that, and the Cowboys might finally escape the abyss of mediocrity. And Jones might actually earn respect as a GM.