Veteran kicker Greg Zuerlein, who had nine missed field goals in 2019 for the Los Angeles Rams, agreed to a three-year, $7.5 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys, with $2.25 million guaranteed, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Todd Archer on Friday.
Also Friday, the Cowboys and defensive tackle Dontari Poe agreed to a one-year deal, according to a source.
The move for Zuerlein reunites the 32-year-old with John Fassel, his special-teams coach with the Rams who was hired by Dallas in January. NFL Network was the first to report the agreement.
The Cowboys had already re-signed Kai Forbath to a one-year deal this offseason. Forbath started the final three games last season, going 10-for-10 on his attempts after the Cowboys cut Brett Maher, who missed 10 attempts in 13 games.
Zuerlein has converted 201 of 245 field goal attempts in the regular season (82%) and is 264-of- 270 on extra-point attempts since being selected by the Rams in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft.
Zuerlein has booted 33 field goals of 50 yards or more, which is tied with Adam Vinatieri for fourth in the NFL over that span — behind Matt Prater (41), Justin Tucker (39) and Matt Bryant (34). His reliability over his eight NFL seasons has earned him the nicknames “Greg the Leg” and “Legatron” among teammates and fans.
In three playoff appearances, Zuerlein converted 8 of 10 field goal attempts, including a 57-yarder in overtime to help his team win the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome in 2018, which sent the Rams to Super Bowl LIII.
The addition of Poe is the surest sign yet the Cowboys’ defense will be operating differently in 2020 than it has since 2013.
At 6-foot-3, 346 pounds, Poe brings a size to a defensive line group that relied on speed and quickness under former line coach and coordinator Rod Marinelli. Poe, who turns 30 in August, spent the last two seasons with the Caroline Panthers, who ran a 3-4 scheme. New head coach Mike McCarthy said the Cowboys will continue to use a four-man front but defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has an extensive background in the 3-4.
Poe is the second addition to the Cowboys from Carolina. The Cowboys reached an agreement with Gerald McCoy on a three-year, $18 million deal last week. McCoy had five sacks in 16 games last season. Last year’s defensive tackles, Antwaun Woods, Trysten Hill and Christian Covington, weighed 310, 310 and 300 pounds.
The Panthers declined to pick up Poe’s 2020 option, which made him a free agent but his addition will not affect the 2021 compensatory picks the Cowboys could gain for having lost Byron Jones and Robert Quinn, among others, in free agency.
ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry contributed to this report.
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