A big-time pass rusher is heading to Big D.
The Dallas Cowboys are signing former Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Jane Slater reported Wednesday evening. It's a one-year deal worth $6 million. The team later confirmed the signing.
Griffen, 32, is a four-time Pro Bowler who spent the last 10 years with the Vikings and there was a chance of him returning or heading to the Seahawks, as the teams went "back and forth," but the Cowboys emerged from under the radar and have added a huge talent, Rapoport added.
On paper at least, Griffen transforms the Cowboys' defensive front into a potentially fearsome and imposing attack as he's set to join Demarcus Lawrence, Gerald McCoy, Tyrone Crawford and Aldon Smith. While there will obviously remain ample question marks about how the new additions such as Griffen, Smith and McCoy mix into a unit led by Lawrence, the talent and past production is impressive. For the last four seasons, Griffen has spectacularly complimented Danielle Hunter in Minnesota, so he joins the Cowboys not just with a track record of stellar play, but of meshing well with another talented pass rusher.
While Griffen moves on from the Vikings despite a 2019 Pro Bowl campaign in which he tallied eight sacks and 11 tackles for a loss, there's likely to be some familiarity as his debut season in Dallas will also be the first year for Mike McCarthy, who's set for his opening campaign with the Cowboys following his days with the Packers and seeing Griffen twice a year.
It's that familiarity along with the chance at a Super Bowl that were driving forces in Griffen heading to the Cowboys and ending conversations that have been ongoing for some time, Slater reported.
It's also the continuation of a comeback story for Griffen. The USC product dealt with highly publicized issues in 2018 that put his career and well-being in doubt, but is now headed to one of the sports world's most highly publicized teams.
The signing has ramifications outside of Dallas as the Vikings will move on from Griffen and so too will the Seahawks move forward in their search for a pass rusher. Rapoport reports they have shown interest in longtime former Packers pass rusher Clay Mathews, who spent 2019 with the Rams. And, of course, Jadeveon Clowney is still out there.
But Griffen isn't.