It usually takes Jerry Jones getting furious for changes to be made within the Dallas Cowboys organization, and he’s most certainly taken off his cool this week. In the same interview on Tuesday in which Jones when pressed about a potential lack of leadership in the locker room, the Hall of Fame owner also promised there would be “personnel changes” on the defensive side of the ball. A few hours later, Everson Griffen was traded to the Detroit Lions and one day after that, both Dontari Poe and Daryl Worley could be out the door.
The Cowboys have been attempting to trade all three for several days now heading into the Nov. 3 trade deadline, sources informed CBS Sports following the team’s 25-3 loss to the Washington Football Team in Week 7, but of the three, only Griffen had any sort of value on the trade market. Jones and Co. received a 2021 conditional sixth-round pick in exchange for Griffen that could upgrade to a fifth-rounder, but there have been no takers thus far for Poe or Worley.
Considering how poorly both have played in their seven-game stint with the Cowboys, that’s not exactly surprising.
Griffen leaves the Cowboys with 2.5 sacks on the season and his improvement over the last two games could not have been better timing as the Cowboys attempted to unload the remainder of his one-year contract to garner cap space that rolls over into 2021, and to clear the path for Randy Gregory and rookie fifth-round pick Bradlee Anae to get more playing time. It’s a much different scenario with Poe and Worley though, considering the former has been a turnstile weekly for opposing running backs and the latter has been essentially benched due to consistently poor play in the secondary.
Poe was signed to a two-year deal this offseason worth $8.5 million, and any team that trades for him will be forced to take on that contract while also giving up an asset or draft capital to do so. Worley joined Poe in signing a deal in Dallas this offseason as well, but it’s a one-year worth $3 million. If both are traded, which is exceedingly doubtful but not impossible, they’d gain $3.19 million and $1.19 million in cap savings, respectively — per OverTheCap — pushing their current overall cap space to more than $30 million.
Without a dance partner for either, the savings on Poe drop to $1.19 million and to just $969,000 on Worley, if both are released outright. This explains why the Cowboys are at least trying to trade them, but the reality is a release seems more likely, as the promised defensive changes take hold in Dallas.