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 two-year deal worth up to $10.5 million, 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 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 he was selected by the Rams in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL draft.
In his career, Zuerlein has booted 33 field goals of 50 yards or more, which is tied with Adam Vinatieri’s total for fourth in the NFL in that span, behind the tallies of Matt Prater (41), Justin Tucker (39) and Matt Bryant (34). Zuerlein’s reliability in his eight NFL seasons has earned him the nicknames “Greg the Leg” and “Legatron” among teammates and fans.
He experienced a dip in production last season, however, converting 24 of 33 field goal attempts for a 73% conversion rate, his lowest since 2015, when he made 67% of his kicks.
In three playoff appearances, Zuerlein converted eight of 10 field goal attempts, including a 57-yarder in overtime to help his team win the 2018 NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome, which sent the Rams to Super Bowl LIII.
The addition of Poe is the surest sign yet that the Cowboys’ defense will be operating differently in 2020 than it has since 2013.
At 6-foot-3, 346 pounds, Poe brings 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 past two seasons with the Carolina 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 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 for the Cowboys, 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 from having lost Byron Jones and Robert Quinn, among others, in free agency.
ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry contributed to this report.