The Dallas Cowboys aren’t done shedding veteran defensive players.
After trading Everson Griffen to Detroit for a conditional sixth-round pick on Tuesday, the Cowboys plan to move on from two more defensive players.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Wednesday that the Cowboys informed defensive tackle Dontari Poe and cornerback Daryl Worley that they will be released if they can’t trade them Wednesday.
The trade deadline isn’t until Nov. 3, but Dallas is ready to move on already. Making it known they’ll cut the duo is the last-ditch effort to get any team to offer anything for either veteran.
Poe signed a two-year, $9 million contract in Dallas this season as part of an offseason revamp along the line that has utterly failed. Poe has been dreadful this season against both the run and pass. Despite playing 253 snaps — most of any Cowboys interior defender this season — the 30-year-old has generated just seven tackles and zero sacks. Pro Football Focus charted Poe with one single hurry in seven games, his only pressure of the season.
Worley has been no better, giving up chunk plays in the passing game, and has allowed 10 of 12 targets his way to be completed. Worley has played 246 snaps for the Cowboys this season, behind only Jourdan Lewis and rookie Trevon Diggs.
Moving on from the veterans is the start of a needed overhaul for a Cowboys defense that has been historically bad through seven weeks. Dallas ranks last in points per game allowed (34.7 — worst in franchise history), last in offensive TDs per game allowed (3.9), last in rushing yards per game allowed (178.3), and 27th in total yards allowed (27th). The 34.7 points per game would be the second-highest in a single season by a team in the Super Bowl era if Dallas keeps up the pace.
Changes on defense are needed if Dallas is to turn it around and recapture the NFC East lead.
Cowboys fans seeing the decisions to move on from veteran defensive players are likely sharing a similar thought: When might DC Mike Nolan be the one to get his walking papers?
For now, Dallas will settle for reshuffling the deck and hoping for better results from a defense that hasn’t stopped the leaking at all this year and has struggled to adapt week-to-week. If the moves don’t change anything, it’s only a matter of time before the finger finally lands on Nolan.
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