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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Wednesday that the release of Dontari Poe had nothing to do with his decision to protest during the national anthem and everything to do with his weight and performance on the field.
Poe was released after signing a two-year, $8.5 million contract with the Cowboys during the offseason, but when asked about if it had to do with him being the only player to kneel during the national anthem, Jones shut that idea down.
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"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 told ESPN.
"I understand your question, and I'm deliberately not going to answer it," Jones said of the kneeling question.
Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Dontari Poe (95) kneels during the national anthem prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at AT&T Stadium. (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
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"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."
According to ESPN, Poe had weekly weight incentives written into his contract ranging from $20,000 to $45,000 that would total up to $500,000 if he met them.
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Poe played for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Carolina Panthers before joining Dallas. In all seven games played this year, Poe had only totaled seven tackles and zero sacks.
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