There’s a rather large contingency of fans around Cowboys Nation who would absolutely love for the Dallas Cowboys to make veteran Defensive End Everson Griffen their next free agent addition, and for good reason. He’s a plug-and-play kind of player and would immediately step in to Robert Quinn’s vacated spot at right DE opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. But, is he actually the answer or a pipe dream for the Cowboys?
Even at 32 years old (33 in December), Everson Griffen still has a lot of gas left in the tank as evidenced by his 8 sack season just a year ago in which he started a total of 15 games. He may be on the wrong side of 30, but he’s still a highly productive player and has been the emotional leader for the Minnesota Vikings defense for nearly a decade. Those qualities are what make him an intriguing option for the Dallas Cowboys.
There’s no denying Griffen would immediately upgrade the Cowboys defensive end position. I believe he’s actually a better fit than Robert Quinn, who they got better-than-expected production from last year that earned him a five-year, $70 million contract from the Chicago Bears. As good as it all sounds, it unfortunately may be a pipe dream we might need to put in the Jamal Adams category.
If you’ve read any of my previous work, you know how much I would absolutely love the Dallas Cowboys to find a way to trade for Jamal Adams. I pretty much feel the same way about bringing in Everson Griffen as well and sadly, it’s the more possible of the two. That’s what makes it all the more disappointing, because if I’m being honest, I just don’t see it happening and I’ll tell you why.
Behind closed doors, I really think the Dallas Cowboys are happy with the current bodies they have at the defensive end position. They’ve got a good mixture of veteran leadership and youth at their disposal in 2020, which makes the likelihood of signing Everson Griffen a long shot in my opinion.
DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford are likely the favorites to start right now, although that could change when/if Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith are reinstatement. They could possibly challenge Crawford for the starting job, but all are likely roster locks. There’s a risk involved of course counting on Gregory and Smith being reinstated, however the reward is what the Cowboys are banking on.
Those four (Lawrence, Crawford, Gregory, Smith) probably make up more than half of the DEs they keep after making roster cuts. Considering the youth currently under contract, that doesn’t exactly leave a lot of room for Griffen.
I highly doubt the Cowboys are ready to give up on Dorance Armstrong – who will be entering Year 3 – and then they have some intriguing second-your players in Joe Jackson and Jalen Jelks to consider. That’s not even mentioning the steal they got in the draft in Bradlee Anae (5th round) or the highly coveted undrafted free agent Ron’Dell Carter. If released in the final cuts, it’s highly unlikely any of these players make it through waivers.
It’s purely speculation at this point, although the fact we haven’t heard the Dallas Cowboys show very much interest in Everson Griffen should tell us all we need to know if we are being completely honest with ourselves. As much fun as it is to think about Griffen in a Cowboys uniform in 2020 it’s looking more and more as if it’s nothing more than a pipe dream.