Since 2014, Cowboy fans, and football fans in general, discussed a realistic window for the Dallas Cowboys. In 2014, Tony Romo was coming off his best season of his career, DeMarco Murray looked like the next Adrian Peterson, and Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, and Cole Beasley were in the prime of their careers. It didn’t take long for that “winning window” to close rapidly.
But with that window closing, a new one had cracked open as Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper were just one game short of reaching the NFC Championship game in 2018. After a disappointing 2019 season, many believe the Cowboys “window” is still open but with Dak Prescott’s contract situation, and many of the teams core coming up for contract extensions in the next few years, the window won’t be open for long. That’s why it’s important that the Cowboys go all-in, and should look to do everything they can to win it all in the next two-to-three years.
Everson Griffen should be in their plans if they want to do so.
At 32, Everson Griffen still has it, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Griffen is coming off an eight sack season, in which he and Danielle Hunter continued to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks off the edge. Similar to DeMarcus Lawrence, Griffen wins using his technique, and variety of pass rush moves to live in the backfield. While Griffen is getting up there in age, he still shows enough juice off the edge to peak the Cowboys interest. With Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Aldon Smith, and Dorance Armstrong as the teams main core of pass rushers, Everson Griffen would provide starting ability off either edge, while also being able to rush from inside in certain personnel packages.
For a young team, the former Vikings defensive end may not make a ton of sense, but for the Cowboys, this one seems like a no-brainer. After a complete makeover of the secondary from 2019 to 2020, upgrading the Cowboys pass rush could wind up being the defenses best hope in 2020, and based on how they handled their offseason, the Cowboys front office seems to agree. Adding Everson Griffen to DeMarcus Lawrence, Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Tyrone Crawford, and Aldon Smith would give the Cowboys plenty of veteran talent to help masks some of the issues the Cowboys’ young secondary could have early on.
The Cowboys currently have between $7 to $10 million in cap space, depending on your source (OverTheCap.com, Spotrac). With a little restructuring, that should be more than enough to get Griffen signed on a short-term deal for the 2020 season. Outside of a report last week that the Packers were expressing some interest in Griffen, all has seemed to be quiet, which would likely mean the price tag could be even lower than expected. For Griffen, the Cowboys make a ton of sense. Going to a team where he isn’t expected to play 100% of the snaps could allow him to have a big year, and see a big contract in 2021 (similar to Robert Quinn). It would also give him the opportunity to play with a competitive team who has a realistic shot to push for Super Bowl if the defense and special teams can hold up their end of the bargain.
While this isn’t a move the Cowboys normally tend to make, they’ve seem to be a bit more aggressive the last year or two, targeting veteran difference-makers who have a track record of success in the NFL. With a Super Bowl window open, but likely not for long, this move makes way too much sense for the Dallas Cowboys.