FRISCO, Texas – Less than two days before practice is set to start, the Cowboys have made one of their biggest additions of the offseason.
Word broke Wednesday night that the team has agreed to terms with veteran pass rusher Everson Griffen, landing one of the biggest free agents on this year's market.
While the deal is not signed, reports indicate that the one-year deal is worth up to $6 million. The Cowboys had roughly $10 million in cap space with which to work.
Griffen has been a name to know since March, when he opted out of his contract with Minnesota and entered free agency. The Vikings drafted him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and he quietly grew into a four-time Pro Bowler with 74.5 career sacks – highlighted by a 13-sack season in 2017. This past year he finished with 9.5 sacks during the Vikings' run to the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.
Naturally, most big-name free agents are linked to the Cowboys, but Griffen's name always carried a little more weight. After all, his longtime defensive coordinator, George Edwards, is currently a defensive assistant on Mike McCarthy's coaching staff in Dallas.
The 32-year-old clearly weighed his options, given that he is just now signing a contract in mid-August. Reports indicated for months that Seattle was bidding against the Vikings, who were eager to retain his surfaces on a new contract.
Instead, it was the Cowboys who swooped in for the signing. Adding Griffen gives them a 10-year veteran who can partner with DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford and Aldon Smith.
It's also an even bigger signal about a change in philosophy toward personnel. Griffen is the fourth veteran Pro Bowler the Cowboys have signed this offseason, joining Smith as well as Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
It remains to be seen what Griffen's exact role will be, but it shouldn't be a long wait to find out. Once Griffen clears the necessary COVID-19 protocols, he'll be free to join his new team for practice – adding another big name to a new-look defense.