FRISCO, Texas -- Nolan Carroll, the Dallas Cowboys' biggest free-agent signing of the offseason, was released Wednesday, while defensive tackle Stephen Paea told Dallas coaches that he is retiring, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The defensive back signed a three-year, $10 million deal that included a $3 million signing bonus after starting 16 games in 2016 for the Philadelphia Eagles. He played in two games for Dallas and made seven tackles.
Carroll suffered a concussion during a Week 2 loss to the Denver Broncos and was out the following game, but he practiced the past two weeks. He was inactive for Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers.
With the way rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis has played, and with Orlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown as the starting corners, there was no room for Carroll. The Cowboys also have second-round pick Chidobe Awuzie, who has been slowed by a recurring hamstring strain, but they looked at him as a safety in the Green Bay game.
Carroll will count $2 million against the Cowboys' cap in 2018. The final two years of the deal he signed were a team option that needed to be picked up 23 days before the start of the 2018 league year.
Paea started the first four games of the season but has been battling a knee injury since signing with the Cowboys as a free agent. He was limited in his work in the spring and in training camp. The coaches credited him with 7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and 1 quarterback pressure in the first 4 games.
The Cowboys signed veteran linebacker Justin March-Lillard to fill the open roster spot left by Carroll's release.