Emmanuel Sanders was a fun thought, but the Cowboys could use the services of Everson Griffen more - David Moore, DMN
Could a Everson Griffen find himself wearing the star in 2020?
Everson Griffen is one of the candidates. The club has interest in the defensive end, who announced Friday he won’t be returning to Minnesota. How aggressively other teams pursue the 32-year-old pass rusher will determine if the Cowboys’ interest materializes into something more.
If Griffen commands a comparable price on the open market [to Quinn], the Cowboys are out. But he’s 21/2 years older than Quinn and unlikely to reach that level. Dallas can be enticed into the $10 million neighborhood if it has a chance to acquire a player of Griffen’s caliber.
Griffen accumulated 741/2 sacks in his 10 seasons with the Vikings. He had eight last season and has not had fewer than 51/2 sacks in any of his last eight seasons.
Everson Griffen set to leave Vikings; Browns, Cowboys have interest in Pro Bowl pass rusher - Cody Benjamin, CBS Sports
More on Griffen.
Griffen, on the other hand, is expected to find a relatively hot market now that he’s publicly moved on from Minnesota.
CBS Sports’ Patrik Walker reports that the Dallas Cowboys have interest in the 32-year-old defensive end, and Griffen himself has already hinted the interest is mutual. Dallas just recently struck a three-year agreement with fellow veteran D-lineman Gerald McCoy but figures to be in the market for help opposite Demarcus Lawrence.
The Cleveland Browns are also a likely suitor, according to a league source, as they weigh the future of DE Olivier Vernon. The Browns have been more than willing to shell out money for defensive help this offseason, they remain flush with cap space, and they’ve got several notable connections to Griffen from his time in Minnesota — including coach Kevin Stefanski and defensive assistant Jeff Howard, who spent seven years on the Vikings’ staff.
Griffen missed five games in 2018 due to some headlining mental-health issues, but he rebounded in 2019 with eight sacks and the fourth Pro Bowl nod of his career. The former All-Pro has played at least 15 games in eight of his last nine seasons, and he’s had at least eight sacks in six of his last eight years.
The Dallas Cowboys continue to do work late at night.
Thursday night Dallas agreed to a deal with veteran safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, per his agents at Sports Trust Advisors.
NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported the contract is for one year and worth $4 million with $2.5 million fully guaranteed, per a source informed of the pact.
For Cowboys fans waking up, the news might feel like a dream. The team finally went out and signed a safety?
Years have passed without Dallas addressing the need on the back end. Clinton-Dix isn’t a huge signing, but it’s a start.
The contract sums up where Ha Ha is at this point of his career: A durable starting safety with some flaws.
The 27-year-old joins his fourth team in three years. After being drafted in the first round by the Packers in 2014, the safety lasted four-and-a-half years in Green Bay before being traded to the Washington Redskins midseason 2018. Clinton-Dix then signed with Chicago on a one-year, $3 million deal last offseason.
Film room: How will new safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix fit into Cowboys’ defense? - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
What are the Cowboys getting in Clinton-Dix?
Listed at 6-1 and 208 pounds, Clinton-Dix is two inches taller but similarly built to the Cowboys’ incumbent starter at free safety, Xavier Woods. Clinton-Dix is a solid safety who, much like Woods, does his best work in coverage. Thus far in his career, Clinton-Dix has displayed plus ball skills, posting 19 interceptions and 19 passes defensed (including playoffs) since entering the league, per Pro Football Focus. Moreover, with over 3,900 snaps in coverage throughout his career, he has only been primarily responsible for allowing six touchdowns in coverage since entering the league (one per season), per PFF.
One area where Clinton-Dix could prove to be incredibly valuable is replacing Byron Jones as Dallas’ tight end eraser. While he doesn’t have great size, he’s sticky enough in coverage and has good enough ball skills to cover tight ends who align inline or in the slot.
Examining the state of the Cowboys roster after the first week of free agent moves - DannyPhantom, Blogging the Boys
Edge of tomorrow?
If there is one area that the team is in the red on in terms of net gains/losses from free agency, it’s defensive end. Losing your top sack leader in Robert Quinn will do that to you. They do have some young guys on the roster, and a possible return of Randy Gregory would be great, but this area has now became a weak spot on the roster.
While some have thrown out Jadeveon Clowney’s name as a possible signing for Dallas, that seems a little unreasonable as he’s expected to command more money than the Cowboys are likely to spend on a second edge rusher. A more likely choice would be a player like Everson Griffen or Jabaal Sheard, who have been effective in the past, but recent drop-offs should make them more in the Cowboys price range.
The team may choose to use their top draft resource on a new edge rusher as LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson is one of this year’s top players and he’s projected to go right around where the Cowboys pick in the draft.
Looking at more free agent options for the Cowboys!
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, Markus Golden, most recently of the New York Giants is an edge defender, I’d seriously consider acquiring. Last season for the Giants, he totaled 10 sacks and has the versatility to play 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 defensive end. With Mike Nolan hoping to play out of multiple defensive fronts, having an edge defender that can rush standing up or with his hand on the ground would be a huge plus.
Another player that the Cowboys should look into is former Minnesota Vikings Defensive End Everson Griffen. Griffen is 32, but like Gerald McCoy has a long history of production and in 2019 had eight sacks for the Vikings in 15 games. Combined with DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, Griffen could be an excellent compliment. If for some reason Gregory isn’t ready to take on a full complement of snaps, a rotation between he and Griffen would be dynamic for the Dallas Cowboys pass rush.
Who is left in free agency for the Cowboys to look at?
The Dallas Cowboys need a big body in the middle of this defensive line that can handle double teams so that their fellow defensive linemen and linebackers have lanes to get to the ball carrier and quarterback.
Harrison has been doing this for a long time and recently decided that he wanted to play another season after contemplating retirement at the end of the season. Harrison would immediately make the Cowboys defense better in both the running game and passing game.
Suh has been a player for hire over the past few years and while his pass rushing abilities aren’t what they used to be his run stopping ability has only gotten better during that time. The Cowboys know first hand how he can impact a game when they faced him in the playoffs two years ago when he effectively shut down the Cowboys running game.
Signing him would help the running game, and they could get lucky and his pass rush talents can be utilized. We also have to wonder what he is looking to be paid and if the Cowboys can afford it.
Gerald McCoy and the Cowboys were a match made in heaven.
McCoy, who reportedly agreed to a three-year deal, has made three Pro Bowls in 10 seasons with the Bucs and Panthers. The 6-4, 300-pound lineman has 59.5 career sacks, including 5.0 with Carolina last year.
Although the defense figures to change schematically under new coordinator Mike Nolan, McCoy looks like an ideal replacement inside for Maliek Collins, who is joining the Raiders after playing the three-technique position in Dallas for the better part of four seasons.
Proximity also factored heavily into McCoy’s decision. He said his son will be attending OU next season, and other family and friends will be close by, too.
From a football perspective, the 32-year-old believes the Cowboys can be contenders despite last year’s 8-8 finish. He’s a “huge fan” of new head coach Mike McCarthy, who coached him at past Pro Bowls. And he has developed a friendship with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence since the 2017 all-star game.
With the first week of free agency in the books things are definitely different for the Dallas Cowboys. Check out the latest episode of The Ocho as we discuss where they stand with a few new names.
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