Dallas Cowboys add former OU TE Blake Bell and more size up front with NT Dontari Poe

Tribune Content Agency

The Dallas Cowboys continued their offseason revamp by signing former Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell and finalizing a deal with massive nose tackle Dontari Poe.

Poe and the Cowboys have agreed to terms but are still working out the language before the deal is officially complete, per source.

The addition of Poe (6-foot-3, 346 pounds) continues a philosophy change under new coach Mike McCarthy of getting bigger inside on defense.

Former defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who left when Jason Garrett was fired as head coach and now with the Las Vegas Raiders, preferred smaller, quicker defensive linemen.

The new Cowboys defense, led by coordinator Mike Nolan, will still be a 4-3 in name but will employ multiple looks, including the 3-4.

Poe spent his first five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs after being picked in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He played one season with the Atlanta Falcons before the last two seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

In 11 games in 2019, Poe had 22 tackles, four sacks and six quarterback hits. He missed the last five games due to surgery to repair a torn quad.

He was available because the Panthers declined to pick up a $9.8 million option for 2020.

Poe will be reunited with former Panthers teammate Gerald McCoy in bringing added size to Dallas. McCoy, a 6-4, 300-pound defensive tackle, signed a three-year, $20 million deal with the Cowboys last week.

Bell replaces the departed Jason Witten (Las Vegas Raiders) as the primary blocker at tight end and will complement pass-catcher Blake Jarwin, who signed a four-year extension last week.

Bell has 38 catches for 424 yards in his career and caught a pass in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LIV win against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Chiefs tried to retain him but he preferred the opportunity with the Cowboys, which likely offers more playing time.

Bell and Poe bring the number of free agent additions on the Cowboys to four, joining McCoy, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and cornerback Maurice Canada, including three new starters in Poe, McCoy and Clinton-Dix.

The Cowboys have lost six starters in free agency: Witten, receiver Randall Cobb (Houston Texans), defensive tackle Maliek Collins (Raiders), defensive end Robert Quinn (Chicago Bears), cornerback Byron Jones (Miami Dolphins) and safety Jeff Heath (Raiders).


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