Cowboys Sign Everson Griffen

Not long after the NFL lifted its ban on free agent tryouts, the Cowboys landed one of the biggest names left on the market. As the crew of Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero, and Jane Slater were first to report (via Twitter), Dallas is signing longtime Vikings edge defender Everson Griffen.

It will be a one-year deal for Griffen worth up to $6MM. According to Kimberly A. Martin of (via Twitter), $3MM will come in the form of a base salary, and the remaining $3MM is comprised of roster bonuses. There are no performance-based incentives, but if Griffen suits up for all 16 games, he will pocket $6MM.

The Cowboys have loaded up on defensive firepower this offseason, adding Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Aldon Smith to the front seven. The team did see Robert Quinn defect to the Bears via free agency, but Griffen will replace Quinn for a fraction of the $70MM that the latter will receive over a five-year term with Chicago. Griffen makes an excellent bookend to fellow DE DeMarcus Lawrence, and his presence will allow Dallas to be less reliant on Smith — who hasn’t played since 2015 — and Randy Gregory, who is still seeking reinstatement. The Cowboys seem likely to remain in a 4-3 scheme, with Lawrence and Griffen sandwiching Poe and McCoy as part of a stout, veteran-laden front.

Though we heard back in March that the Cowboys were unlikely to sign Griffen, that was not long after free agency opened, and it could be that Griffen’s price has come down considerably since then. Indeed, Todd Archer of says Dallas has had Griffen on the radar most of the offseason, and Jason Fitzgerald of thinks the salary cap space created by Dallas’ COVID-19 opt-outs may have made the team more willing to pull the trigger (Twitter link).

Griffen, 32, boasts 74.5 sacks over his ten seasons with the Vikings, to go along with four Pro Bowl bids. He earned one of those Pro Bowl trips last season in an eight-sack campaign that proved he still has plenty left in the tank.

Minnesota did not do much to bolster its pass rush this offseason, and it was beginning to look like the team would ultimately reunite with Griffen, whose market was seemingly slow to develop. Indeed, Rapoport tweets that the Vikings and the Seahawks were vying for Griffen’s services, but both lost out to Dallas, whose interest had not been publicly reported at all.

Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune confirms that Minnesota was making a push to re-sign Griffen in recent days, with head coach Mike Zimmer spearheading the sales pitch (Twitter link). The Vikings hoped that Griffen’s familiarity with the only pro team he has ever known, as well as the fact that his permanent home is in Minnesota, would tip the scales in their favor. Though he doesn’t have exact numbers, Darren Wolfson of KSTP says (via Twitter) the Vikes made a competitive offer, but Griffen has elected to start the next chapter of his career in Jerry World.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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28 comments on “Cowboys Sign Everson Griffen

      • wagner13

        Yeah, he can rotate with Crawford and Dallas can limit his snaps to pure pass-rushing situations to avoid injury or fatigue

  1. crosseyedlemon

    Good signing if the league can actually play a season. Will Everson get a chance to face his old teammates Nov 22 and show he still has something?

  2. Stabby McShank

    Sucks for him. Talented team that will finish no better than 9/7 because they lack heart and have no leadership.

    • qbert1996

      So hiring a SuperBowl winning coach isn’t a good leader? Getting rid of Garrett was the biggest move of the offseason for them.

      • DarkSide830

        McCarthy hasnt won in 10 years and his teams have largely underperformed for the talent they have had since then. sure, he’s an upgrade over Garrett, but he’s hardly as good as he’s made out to be.

        • qbert1996

          Underperformed? The Packers under McCarthy never spent big money on the defense and the first season they did after he left they go 13-3. Only time the Packers underperformed is when Rodgers gets hurt. Sure McCarthy gets all the blame though

        • qbert1996

          Sean Lee, Dak Prescott, Gerald McCoy, Zach Martin and Tyron Smith just to name a few leaders

          • Stabby McShank

            Hahahahaha.. dak Prescott? The black Kirk cousins? Lol no. He crumbles in pressure situations. Sean Lee I will give you. He is a solid leader. Gerald McCoy? Lol no. There is a reason that he is on his third team in as many years. Smith and Martin are laughable as well. Both completely silent members of the oline. You literally saw your team fall apart down the stretch. The Bills put a nail in your season by exposing you as over hyped pretenders that lack grit or substance.

              • Stabby McShank

                Cool story… I’m still waiting for a well thought out rebuttal. I’m feeling like your emotion based responses are headed for 8-8 just like that pathetic team of yours…

            • of9376

              You couldn’t be more out of touch. The cowboys “fell apart” last year due to the injuries they sustained from key starters and losing LVE for the entire season. Not to mention a terrible coaching staff.

              • Stabby McShank

                Couldn’t be more out of touch. I would counter argue that Cowboys fans couldn’t be more delusional. Look at a team like the Steelers and see what actual coaching and heart will do. Now look at that Texas team. Vastly overrated by the media, went 1/3 against the AFC East and collapsed due to lack of backbone and pride. Still waiting for you ‘Boys fans to have a rebuttal. We have been waiting for over 20 years.

  3. crb15

    Good signing. I have been wanting them to sign him all offseason. Bringing in some more vets like him & McCoy, as well as a new HC will hopefully do wonders for them this year (as long as there’s a season of course). Too bad CBS had this info 14 hours ago.

  4. heartbrokentexassportsfan

    I’m loving these defensive signings this year. Personnel will not be our issue this year. Here’s to hoping McCarthy can coach the hell out of both sides of the ball.

  5. nentwigs

    Vikings were not competitive with a $6 MM offer from the Cowboys?? Team must be worried about a relapse of Griffen’s “emotional issues”.
    Meanwhile, the Cowboys have made Everson the latest

    SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN !! (apologies to Lee Majors)

  6. nentwigs

    From 07/26/17 = NFL Trade Rumors, “The Vikings and defensive end Everson Griffen are finalizing a massive four-year extension, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Griffen confirmed the deal in a Wednesday morning scrum with beat reporters. Griffen’s previous deal had him signed through 2018. The new pact should keep him in Minnesota for the remainder of his career.
    The extension is worth a whopping $58MM with $34MM in guarantees, a source tells Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). The “new money average” on the deal comes out to $14.5MM.

    From 09/24/18 = NFL Trade Rumors< "Pelissero confirms Griffen was involved at an incident at a hotel in Minneapolis this weekend.,,,. Pelissero also adds in another tweet that Griffen is “being evaluated at a local hospital” and that there are “concerns about his mental health.”

    04/10/20 = NFL Trade Rumors, “Nobody knew that I was living in a sober house,” Griffen told Pelissero. “I lived in the sober house for three months, from October to the end of the (2018) season. I was living like I was in college. Had a roommate, had a little bit of clothes. I was going to my meetings. I did the whole nine. That was a part of my recovery. Just to reset. I wanted to reset.”

    03/20/20 = NFL Trade Rumors, "The Cowboys are in need of help on the edge after losing Robert Quinn in free agency. However, they’re unlikely to pursue two of the biggest names left: Everson Griffen and Jadeveon Clowney, according to Ed Werder of and Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star Telegram.

    08/13/20 = NFL Trade Rumors, "It will be a one-year deal for Griffen worth up to $6MM. According to Kimberly A. Martin of (via Twitter), $3MM will come in the form of a base salary, and the remaining $3MM is comprised of roster bonuses. There are no performance-based incentives, but if Griffen suits up for all 16 games, he will pocket $6MM.


      • nentwigs

        !). He had a multi year contract with sizable (58+%) guaranteed money that averaged $14.5 per year that ran until 2022. (He didn’t have to opt out but did so based on…either his agent or his own gut feel for his status with the Vikings).
        2). He opted out of that contract with 3 years to go
        3). He has “baggage” due to emotional an/or other issues which resulted in him being away from the team.
        4). The so-called experts said the Cowboys had no interest in this player.
        5). He was projected to command $10MM – $15MM on the open market. (didn’t show that one but it’s out there).
        6). Griffen signs for a $3MM BASE Salary and an additional $3MM in roster Bonuses.
        7). How the (perceived) mighty have fallen.

  7. Ak185

    I do have to wonder where this and the other offseason signings, plus the expulsion of Marinelli, leaves Tyrone Crawford. He is slightly older, but not prohibitively so, and still productive. It’s hard to find where he would project on this line for playing time. DT, I’d think, but it’s hard to imagine a former starter settling in to a rotational role while still effective playing a high snap count.

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