The Dallas Cowboys released veteran defensive tackle Dontari Poe and cornerback Daryl Woodley on Wednesday, and owner/general manager Jerry Jones cited Poe’s weight as a primary reason for the decision to release him, while declining to say whether Poe’s persistence in kneeling for the national anthem before games was considered, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
“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 said.
Poe was signed to a two-year, $8.5 million contract in free agency this offseason. Jones referring to “the other stuff” was specific to a question about Poe being the only Cowboys player to take a knee during the national anthem and how it could have impacted the team’s decision to release him.
“I understand your question, and I’m deliberately not going to answer it,” Jones replied. “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.”
While Poe had played more snaps than any other interior defensive lineman for the Cowboys, he has only 7 tackles and one hurry to his credit.
“You make mistakes. You move on,” Jones said. “We’re moving on, but by no means are we giving up.”