Dallas Cowboys add run-stuffer Dontari Poe to defensive line

Dontari Poe #95 of the Carolina Panthers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Dontari Poe #95 of the Carolina Panthers (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have needed a talented run-stuffing defensive tackle for years. With a new coaching staff in place, it appears they finally got one.

For years, fans of the Dallas Cowboys have begged and pleaded for the team to add two kinds of players to their defense. That being a ball-hawking safety and a run-stuffing defensive tackle. And the new coaching staff in Dallas appears to be trying to make those dreams come true by signing two former first-rounders in free agency.

Last week, the Cowboys agreed to sign free agent safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The 27-year old was the 21st overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. The Packers head coach at the time was Mike McCarthy, who now is at the helm of America’s Team.

In Clinton-Dix’s lone Pro Bowl season of 2016, he recorded an impressive stat-line of 80 total tackles, seven pass deflections, and five interceptions. The six-year veteran figures to slot alongside Xavier Woods as the Cowboys’ starting safety this upcoming season.

Now, according to reports, the Cowboys have found their run-stuffing defensive tackle to join Clinton-Dix on the defense. Dallas has finally agreed to terms with free-agent Dontari Poe on a two-year deal worth $10.5 million.

According to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer, the two sides agreed to the financials earlier this week but were hung up on some of the contractual language. The official signing is still pending a medical check.

The 6-foot-3, 346-pound defender should be the refrigerator with legs that the Cowboys have desperately needed in the middle of their defensive line for quite some time. The 11th overall selection in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Memphis, Poe played his first five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

During his time in Kansas City, Poe received two Pro Bowl nominations (2013, 2014) and an All-Pro nod (second team, 2013) for his play. The eight-year veteran spent the past two seasons with the Carolina Panthers after a short one-year stint with the Atlanta Falcons.

The 29-year old played in the Panthers’ first 11 games last season before suffering a torn quad in late November. Prior to that injury, Poe hadn’t missed a single game since 2015.

Poe recorded 22 total tackles and 4.0 sacks in 11 games for the Panthers last season. Pro Football Focus gave the nose tackle an overall grade of 71.2 for his play in 2019, the highest of his career so far.

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In Carolina, Dontari Poe lined up alongside fellow defensive tackle Gerald McCoy last season, who just agreed to a three-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys last week. The two reuniting in Big D should mean big things for a Cowboys’ run defense that allowed 103.5 yards per game on the ground to opposing offenses in 2019.