Dontari Poe’s inability to keep his weight down cost him his job, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.
The defensive tackle was released on Wednesday for that reason, along with his lack of production.
“When you’re 30 pounds overweight and you’re not doing anything about what’s keeping you from performing well on the field, there is no reason to get into the other stuff,” Jones told ESPN.
Jones was referring to Poe kneeling during the national anthem to peacefully protest racial inequality and police brutality. Jones would not say if that had a role in the decision to let Poe go.
“I understand your question, and I’m deliberately not going to answer it,” Jones said. “We have a platform here, but the platform on the football field has a high standard, and [Poe] was not up to the standard. He needed to correct that, and he did not. I’m going to leave it at that.”
The 30-year-old Poe signed a two-year, $8.5 million deal in the offseason that included a guaranteed $3.5 million. ESPN reported that there were weekly weight incentives that totaled up to $500,000. Despite playing more than any other interior defensive lineman on the Cowboys thus far, Poe, listed at 6-foot-3 and 342 pounds, had only seven tackles and was without a sack on the season.
Poe was one of three moves the Cowboys made to their dismal defense, which is allowing an NFL worst 34.7 points per game. They traded defensive end Everson Griffen to the Lions for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and also let go cornerback Daryl Worley.
“You make mistakes. You move on,” Jones said. “We’re moving on, but by no means are we giving up.”
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