Dallas will be the fifth NFL organization for the 28-year-old Paea, who entered the league as a second-round pick in 2011 and has since played with the Bears, Redskins and Browns. Chicago heavily relied on Paea, who started double-digit games in three of his four seasons with the club, but he served as a reserve in Washington and Cleveland over the past two years. Paea started just one game apiece for those teams, and he’s coming off a 13-appearance, 12-tackle campaign. Despite his less-than-gaudy numbers, he ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 40th-best interior D-lineman among 127 qualifiers in 2016.
As a member of the Cowboys, Paea will attempt to replace the departed Terrell McClain, who signed with NFC East rival Washington on Thursday. Paea is slated to join Cedric Thornton and Maliek Collins as the Cowboys’ top interior options.
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