The Dallas Cowboys did not answer the gaping hole at right defensive end during free agency. After losing Robert Quinn and his 11.5 sacks from 2019 to the Chicago Bears, they did not spend a high draft pick on the position either, waiting until the fifth round to select Utah’s Bradlee Anae. But just two days before the club convenes for training camp practice, they’ve made a big splash at the position after all.
The Cowboys have signed the top remaining free agent on the market, former Minnesota Vikings DE and four-time Pro Bowler Everson Griffen.
The #Cowboys are adding a big-time pass-rusher, signing former #Vikings DE Everson Griffen, sources tell me, @TomPelissero and @SlaterNFL. With Minnesota for a decade, Griffen now heads to Dallas. A surprise.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 13, 2020
A one-year deal for Everson Griffen, source said. A big pickup for the Cowboys.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) August 13, 2020
NFL lifted ban on hosting free-agent tryouts yesterday.
Today, Cowboys reached agreement to sign 4x Pro Bowl DE Everson Griffin, source confirms to @usatodaysports.
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) August 13, 2020
The Cowboys have been linked with Griffen since the spring, the timing just hadn’t been right.
Earlier in the offseason, the four-time Pro Bowler (including 2019) opted out of his final remaining three years with the Vikings. Prior to the 2019 league year, the club renegotiated with Griffen to give them salary cap space for the just-finished season. Griffen turned in a strong performance, notching eight sacks in his 10th year in the league. In March he cut off contract talks, but had since not signed with anyone.
Griffen is fourth in Minnesota Viking history in sacks with 74.5, behind John Randle, Chris Doleman and Jared Allen.
— John Owning (@JohnOwning) August 13, 2020
Griffen spent the last six seasons with George Edwards as his defensive coordinator. Edwards joined the Cowboys staff under head coach Mike McCarthy as the senior defensive assistant next to defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Griffen’s four Pro Bowls have all come with Edwards on the staff.
Griffen was recently named the top remaining free agent by CBS Sports HQ, ahead of fellow defensive end and more ballyhooed Jadeveon Clowney. The Cowboys now have Griffen, Aldon Smith and Anae as new additions to the position opposite franchise defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. The team also brought in defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, as well as third-round draft pick Neville Gallimore to add to Tyrone Crawford and Antwaun Woods returning from injury-plauged seasons.