Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett addressed the media on Thursday during the team’s bye week and addressed questions over the sudden retirement of defensive tackle Stephen Paea.
Reports of Paea’s retirement surfaced on Wednesday and Garrett revealed that Paea had, in fact, retired and stated that the decision was made because Paea felt like he couldn’t perform up to the standard expected of him because of a knee injury, according to a report from David Helman of DallasCowboys.com.
Prior to joining the Cowboys during the offseason, Paea spent four seasons with the Chicago Bears and one season each with the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns. After reuniting with Rod Marinelli, who had been the Bears defensive coordinator before taking the same role with the Cowboys, he earned a starting role at nose tackle in the offseason.
Paea started four games for the Cowboys in 2017, recording 4 total tackles and playing in 51.1 percent of the defensive snaps through the first quarter of the season. However, he missed the Cowboys’ 35-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 5 and decided to retire this week while the team was on a bye to give them ample notice.
With Paea gone, Dallas will turn to David Irving and Brian Price along with Maliek Collins to take on additional reps at defensive tackle.
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