Veteran defensive tackle Stephen Paea has reportedly informed the Dallas Cowboys that he intends to retire from the NFL immediately.
Two of the biggest free agent signings the Dallas Cowboys made this offseason were veteran cornerback Nolan Carroll and defensive tackle Stephen Paea. It now appears neither player will be on Dallas’ roster following the bye in Week Six.
The Cowboys released Carroll on Wednesday. The 30-year old corner played just two games in Dallas before being sidelined due to a concussion. The play of rookie defensive back Jourdan Lewis likely made Carroll expendable.
As for Paea, the seventh-year defensive lineman reportedly informed Cowboys coaches that he intends to retire immediately. This is shocking news as the former second round pick was one of the team’s best interior defenders through the offseason and during training camp.
But the 29-year old has struggled with a knee injury so far this season. Paea was inactive against the Green Bay Packers over the weekend. The return of defensive tackle David Irving from a PED suspension likely had something to do with that. Paea recorded just four total tackles in four games in Dallas.
It’s unclear if the Cowboys will make a move to address the loss of Paea. But Dallas did sign linebacker Justin March-Lillard to help fill one of the two newly open roster spots. Undrafted out of Akron back in 2015, March-Lillard has spent the past two season playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and the Seattle Seahawks.
March-Lillard has a career total of 22 tackles and two pass defends in eight game appearances, five of which he played as a starter in Kansas City in 2016.
The addition of March-Lillard could be a sign that veteran linebacker Sean Lee is not quite healthy enough to return from his hamstring injury. Or it could simply be a move to sure up a positional group that’s had more than it’s fair share of injury concerns as of late.