Cowboys, Dontari Poe
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have devoted a majority of their spending this offseason to keeping their stars together on offense. Now, Jerry Jones and the front office are focusing on improving the defense and are reportedly close to signing with two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dontari Poe.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, first reported the Cowboys were engaged in discussions with Poe as of Monday with both sides hoping a deal could be reached. It now appears that progress has been made and Poe is close to signing with the Cowboys, per NFL Media’s Jane Slater.

Poe spent the past two seasons with the Carolina Panthers. While he only played in 11 games this past year, he managed to record four sacks with seven tackles for loss and six quarterback hits. It was an improvement over his 2018 season, when he had one sack and only three quarterback hits in 16 games.

The No. 11 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Poe has had a fairly productive NFL career. While he didn’t record a sack in his first season, the 346-pound nose tackle made the Pro Bowl and earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2013.

After recording seven quarterback hits and four sacks in 2013, Poe recorded a career-high six sacks in 2014. He earned his second trip to the Pro Bowl and was viewed as one of the NFL’s best interior defenders.

Poe signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons before the 2017 season. He fit into their defense well, recording a career-best 10 quarterback hits. After a strong season, he signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Carolina Panthers in 2018.

The 29-year-old has struggled with his weight throughout his career. The Panthers and Falcons each included a massive weight clause into his contracts. The Cowboys could potentially take a similar route if they sign Poe, but talks are reportedly ongoing.

Poe would join Gerald McCoy, who signed a three-year deal with Dallas this offseason, as two additions to strengthen the interior defensive line in Mike Nolan’s defense.

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick