The Dallas Cowboys are loaded to the gills with pass-rushing prospects, but Bleacher Report is advocating for one final acquisition.
The digital media giant encouraged the Cowboys to sign former Vikings edge terror Everson Griffen, who remains a free agent after mutually separating from Minnesota in March.
Columnist Kristopher Knox believes Dallas is a Super Bowl contender and Griffen’s addition would put the club “over the top” in 2020.
“The Dallas Cowboys lost a couple of key defenders in cornerback Byron Jones and defensive end Robert Quinn in free agency,” Knox wrote. “Second-round pick Trevon Diggs can be penciled in as Jones’ replacement, but finding someone to match Quinn’s production will be more difficult. Quinn was responsible for 11.5 sacks and 34 tackles in 2019. Former longtime Minnesota Vikings starter Everson Griffen should be option No. 1. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler, and he should fit tremendously in Dallas’ 4-3 base defense after playing in a similar four-man front in Minnesota. The Cowboys may have to get a little creative to sign Griffen—they have just under $6 million in cap space—but this is a move that would instantly improve their defense.”
Established among the sport’s best hand-in-the-dirt harassers, Griffen totaled 41 tackles (11 tackles for loss), eight sacks, and an interception in 2019. He also accumulated 66 quarterback pressures, 14th-most out of all NFL edge defenders, according to Pro Football Focus.
Dallas got a first-hand look at him last November, amid their 28-24 home loss to the Vikings. Griffen stuffed the stat sheet with five tackles (two solo), four QB hits, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, and a half-sack.
A 2010 fourth-round pick who’s spent his entire career with the Vikings, Griffen has made 351 career tackles, 254 solo stops, and 74.5 sacks across 10 professional campaigns. He’s notched at least five sacks in eight consecutive seasons and has 26.5 QB takedowns over the past three years. He’s been voted to four Pro Bowls and was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2017, when he recorded 13 sacks.
The Dallas Morning News’ David Moore reported in March the Cowboys “have interest” in Griffen, though that was quickly disputed by other outlets.
“And a similar answer from a Cowboys source, who says Griffen is ‘not high on our radar,’” SI.com’s Mike Fisher wrote.
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Why Griffen Isn’t Coming to Big D
The team doesn’t need him; it’s really as simple as that. To Knox’s point about replacing Quinn, the Cowboys retained DE Tyrone Crawford, added DL Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe and Aldon Smith in free agency, and spent a fifth-round draft choice on edge rusher Bradlee Anae. They also re-signed starting NT Antwaun Woods and are hopeful suspended DE Randy Gregory (and Smith) is reinstated.
Even at an advanced age, Griffin, 32, has plenty of gas left in the tank. He’d no doubt provide Dallas’ D-line with legitimate juice as an elite bookend to $105 million man DeMarcus Lawrence. A position of perceived weakness would instantly morph into a strength.
But unless there’s a drastic shift in thinking, owner/general manager Jerry Jones won’t endanger the salary cap, and spoil an ever-important emergency fund, with an unnecessary luxury move.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL