The Duel

Here's Why the Cowboys Signing Everson Griffen Was Even Smarter Than You Might Think

Max Staley
Everson Griffen is a steal for the Dallas Cowboys.
Everson Griffen is a steal for the Dallas Cowboys. / Sean Gardner/Getty Images
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Jerry Jones has done it again. He's signed another talented, big-name veteran star to a contract that's well-below market value. It's like clockwork at this point. But this signing is actually even better than it appears on the surface.

Griffen might be the piece that takes this defense over the top – yet he's only getting $6 million in 2020.

Despite having DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas' pass-rushing unit was nothing to write home about last season. The group tallied just 39 sacks, putting them in the bottom half of the league (No. 19). The Cowboys offset some of that with a great secondary, though, as Pro Football Focus gave the team its sixth-highest coverage grade.

With Byron Jones now playing for the Miami Dolphins, it's tough to envision Dallas' secondary making up for a lackluster pass-rush again in 2020. But now that they've signed Griffen it shouldn't have to.

For one, the underlying numbers are a bit more promising than their sack totals were. The Cowboys were top 12 in both hurries and pressures. Griffen should bolster that immediately, as he finished tied with Aaron Donald for the 11th-most QB hits in the NFL (24).

The team did lose Robert Quinn, but they've replace him with a rotation of Griffen, Aldon Smith and potentially even Randy Gregory (if he's re-instated). Dallas is also replacing Maliek Collins with Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe. That's a loaded front seven.

The four projected starters, Griffen, McCoy, Lawrence and Poe, all posted PFF grades of at least 71.0 last season. Building a pass-rushing unit with this much potential is a great way to offset any concerns from a declining secondary – especially considering Dallas simply didn't have the space to re-sign Jones or add his replacement.

The Cowboys did an excellent job adapting to their circumstances all throughout offseason, but this Everson Griffen deal might be enough to take this unit over the top.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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