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REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Sign Defensive End Everson Griffen

At the franchise deadline a few weeks ago, Stephen Jones mentioned that the Dallas Cowboys were still interested in adding a free agent or two this summer. Well, they’ve made good on that promise by signing former Minnesota Vikings Defensive End Everson Griffen.

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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.

As the NFL lifted the ban on outside players visiting their facilities, the Dallas Cowboys made a splash in bringing in the Pro Bowl defensive end. Griffen has made the Pro Bowl in four of the last five seasons. Though he’s 32 years old, he’s coming off a season where he had eight sacks for the Minnesota Vikings. In five of the last six seasons, he’s played at least 15 games and in those seasons recorded at least eight sacks. Three times he recorded a double-digit sack total with a career-high in 2017 when Griffen had 13 sacks.

Defense & Fumbles Table
      Game Game Def Def Def Fumb Fumb Fumb Fumb Fumb   Tack Tack Tack
Year Age Tm G GS Int TD PD FF Fmb FR Yds TD Sk Comb TFL QBHits
2010 23 MIN 11 0                 0.0 11 0 1
2011 24 MIN 16 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 9 0 4.0 21 3 7
2012 25 MIN 16 1 1 1 2 0 0 2 5 0 8.0 27 11 20
2013 26 MIN 16 0       1 0 0 0 0 5.5 27 7 10
2014 27 MIN 16 16 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 12.0 58 14 24
2015* 28 MIN 15 15 0 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 10.5 44 14 30
2016* 29 MIN 16 16 0 0 1 2 0 3 20 1 8.0 48 9 22
2017* 30 MIN 15 15 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 13.0 45 12 25
2018 31 MIN 11 10 0 0 1           5.5 33 5 13
2019* 32 MIN 15 15 1 0 2           8.0 41 11 24
Care Care   147 88 2 1 16 9 0 6 34 1 74.5 355 86 176
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 8/12/2020. 

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Everson Griffen’s 66 regular season pressures (70 incl. playoffs) would have lead the #Cowboys last season pic.twitter.com/nGCcrFfI5H

Primarily a right defensive end, Everson Griffen immediately becomes their best option opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. Though he figures to compete for snaps initially with Tyrone Crawford and Aldon Smith on the right side, his presence gives the Cowboys a much-needed pass rusher on the right side of the defensive line.

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Edge rusher Everson Griffen is a 4-time Pro Bowler who has had three double-digit sack seasons since 2014. He had 8 sacks, 11 tackles for loss and 24 QB hits last year for the Vikings.pic.twitter.com/KqdJFfCLuZ

With the signing of Everson Griffen, the Cowboys made a bold move that upgrades their defense and gives them another player that can both play the run and rush the passer with equal effectiveness. In Mike Nolan’s defense that is predicated on disrupting the quarterback, you can’t have too many guys that can create pressure, and Everson Griffen has been one of the best over the last six seasons.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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  1. Finally…. I was happy with Aldon Smith, but now I’m just speechless!! He was the RDE I was wanting us to sign all along!! A lot of people wanted Clowney, but I didn’t…. I wanted Everson Griffen, and now we finally have him!! I can’t wait for this season to start!!

  2. Adding sacks to an already good defense is always a good thing but I question the timing. Does this mean Dallas isn’t as optimistic about Aldon Smith as they have appeared to be? Did they get bad news about Gregory’s reinstatement application?

    • I can only guess. But teams weren’t allowed to have players in for visits until yesterday, which might have been all they were waiting for to make the signing. An in-person meeting. Gregory’s reinstatement thing is weird. He can’t get answers from the NFLPA, which just seems weird. I haven’t heard, seen, or read anything that would indicate they’re concerned about Aldon Smith. However, going into a season with Aldon Smith, Tyrone Crawford, and Bradlee Anae as your top options at right defensive end probably wasn’t the best plan.

      • John, I’m curious … what’s your insight on what seems to be a relatively simple re-instatement attempt by Gregory. Something just smells odd. On the surface his transgressions don’t compare to some others who have been reinstated much quicker, and despite the volume of his infractions, they are not increasing in severity, meaning its just the same dumb mistake repeated several times. Why are the Cowboys so quiet about this? Jerry was in Goodell’s face over the Zeke affair.

        Because I never thought Griffen was in their targets, I can’t help but wonder if they have official word from NFL offices that suggest Gregory is done?

  3. This is the move I’ve clamored for since Quinn took the money and ran. I don’t blame him, it’s a business as much as it’s a sport these days. Follow me now. Pencil Griffen in as RDE right now, your starter Day1. Cut Crawford, let Aldon and whatever 2 -3 young guys that stick (Jackson,Anae, Jelks, Armstrong) play and learn along that vet-laden dline just let them play. Wish we grabbed Snacks instead of Poe.

  4. Compete for snaps with Smith and Crawford? Pencil this beast in as a starter and turn him loose. And he’s good against the run? Hell yea! With the serviceable Crawford coming off an injury and Smith/Gregory BIG questions marks, I can only imagine the cowboys had the same concerns many fans had regarding our pass rush (or lack their of). The fact that he is solid against the rush as well, bodes very well for us. Kudos to the often times maligned Jerry Jones, for getting us an excellent player at a position of need.

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