Arguably the top free agent still available at the start of training camp, longtime Minnesota Vikings pass rusher Everson Griffen has finally found a home. Nearly six months after opting out of his contract with Minnesota, the former Pro Bowler has signed with the Dallas Cowboys, as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and confirmed by CBS Sports NFL insider Patrik Walker, becoming the latest big name to join a revamped defensive line.
The Cowboys first expressed interest in the 32-year-old Griffen back in March, as Walker reported, but the defensive end was long expected to find a bigger deal elsewhere. The Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks, among other teams, were reportedly also interested in Griffen, who hadn’t completely ruled out a return to the Vikings. According to Rapoport, both Seattle and Minnesota recently “went back and forth” with the pass rusher while the Cowboys “quietly went to work” to secure him.
Griffen isn’t the first notable addition to the Cowboys’ front four this offseason. Not long after the veteran first hit the market, Dallas signed six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, the longtime Carolina Panthers star, to a three-year deal. Then in April, the Cowboys doubled down on D-line reinforcements by adding McCoy’s former Carolina teammate Dontari Poe.
Originally a fourth-round draft pick of Minnesota in 2010, Griffen joins a Cowboys pass rush that lost Robert Quinn in free agency but still boasts All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Aldon Smith and potentially Randy Gregory, who’s awaiting reinstatement. Since he became a full-time starter in 2014, Griffen is one of only two defensive lineman — alongside perennial Pro Bowler Aaron Donald — with more than 55 sacks, 135 quarterback hits and four Pro Bowl selections. He logged eight sacks for the Vikings in 2019.