You can never have too many pass rushers in today’s NFL, especially with such an emphasis put on the passing game. Through free agency and the NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys added some much-needed pieces to their defensive front. Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe were brought in to address a huge need on the interior, an area the Cowboys have overlooked for years. Neville Gallimore and Bradlee Anae were both steals in the third and fifth rounds and will have opportunities to contribute early.
Aldon Smith was conditionally reinstated a few weeks ago and Randy Gregory, who is currently going through to reinstatement process, shouldn’t have any problem getting back on the roster either with the NFL softening its stance on marijuana use. Factoring in DeMarcus Lawrence and a returning Tyrone Crawford, the Cowboys seem to be set with their pass rush. However, veteran Everson Griffen is still available and would instantly put the Cowboys defensive front on another level.
Griffen has been highly productive since entering the NFL in 2010. He had 17.5 sacks in his first four seasons, but the next four would make him a household name. Griffen reached double digits in sacks three times (career-high 13 in 2017) and made three Pro Bowls. After a down year in 2018, Griffen made his fourth Pro Bowl last season recording eight sacks.
So as you can see, even at 32, Griffen still plays at a fairly high level. He would instantly challenge Crawford as the starter coming off the right edge opposite Lawrence. This could potentially replace the 11.5 sacks Robert Quinn produced last season. Lawrence, Crawford, Smith, Gregory, and Anae are already a formidable rotation. However, adding Griffen would give the Cowboys a plethora of different combinations to work with when it comes to rushing the passer from the perimeter. More importantly, it would keep guys fresh in the fourth quarter, which is when most games are decided.
Smith and Gregory haven’t played since 2015 and 2018 respectively, so it’s going to take a while for them to get back into game shape to maximize what they have left in the tank. Griffen would provide insurance just in case there is a setback for either due to another suspension or injury.
The Cowboys have nailed this offseason with strategic and cost-efficient moves, but if they want to put an exclamation point on this retooling of their roster, they need to call Griffen, expeditiously.