Two big-name defensive ends were officially released to the open market on the first day of NFL free agency on Tuesday.

The Cowboys cut ties with DeMarcus Ware - one of the best defensive players in franchise history.

And, the Chicago Bears have let Julius Peppers go.

Jonathan Daniel, Getty Images Sport

While these are big names, both have passed their prime. However, it is likely both will find new homes and at the very least contribute. I'm sure both will do more than that.

Ware, 32, is coming off shoulder and elbow surgeries and was going to cost the Cowboys $16 million in cap space in 2014. By cutting him they save about half that - nearly $7.5 million.

Ware tallied at least 11 sacks per season between 2006-2012, but recorded just six last year.

Peppers - now 34 - is coming off his worst season sack total (7.5) since the 2007 season. Again, this was a move to free up cap space, according to Chicago.cbslocal.com:

The move was made to free up cap space, as the Bears save $13.9 million in cash and $9.8 million in cap space. They also add $8.3 million in dead money. This is a large sum of dead money, but the freed-up cash will be used immediately to cover new signing bonuses, and it completely removes Peppers money from the books after the 2014 season.