EVERSON GRIFFEN 1 SIGNING BOOSTS DALLAS COWBOYS CHANCES TO GREAT FOR 2020 ACROSS THE BOARD
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is clearly going all-in to win Super Bowl 55 as in a fairly big surprise the team has signed former Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl defensive end Eversen Griffen.
Griffen going to Seattle or re-signing with Minnesota had been the scuttlebutt for weeks.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is clearly going all-in to win Super Bowl 55 as in a fairly big surprise the team has signed former Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl defensive end Eversen Griffen to a one-year, $6 million contract. The Cowboys were fairly tight up against the salary cap after an expensive offseason – i.e. Amari Cooper extension, Dak Prescott playing on the franchise tag, etc. — and had never been rumored as a Griffen suitor. The SportsLine Projection Model has upgraded the Cowboys’ futures across the board following this deal.
Griffen going to Seattle or re-signing with Minnesota had been the scuttlebutt for weeks. While the Cowboys did lose their 2019 sack leader in Robert Quinn to the Chicago Bears in free agency, Dallas already had one of the NFL’s best defensive ends in DeMarcus Lawrence, had signed Aldon Smith and is still hoping that Randy Gregory will be reinstated from an indefinite suspension.
Then again, a team can never have enough guys who pressure the quarterback. Lawrence had a disappointing 2019 season with just five sacks, Smith hasn’t played since 2015 because of suspension, and Gregory is an annual question mark with all his off-field problems. Another Dallas defensive end, Tyrone Crawford, is coming off major hip surgery that limited him to four games last year. Dorance Armstrong was the only other returning end on the roster to record a sack last season.
Griffen had 74.5 sacks over his 10 seasons with Minnesota and eight last year when he was named to the Pro Bowl for a four time. An argument could be made he is equal to the player of former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, who sits on the free agent market hoping for $17 million per year. Griffen will cost only about a third of that; this deal could speed up Clowney signing somewhere.
That Dallas defensive front will look quite different as the team also added tackles Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe this offseason. The only question mark on that side of the ball could be at cornerback after losing Byron Jones in free agency to Miami.
For only a one-year deal worth $6 million, Griffen is a team-friendly steal for Dallas. That number is less than what the Cowboys will pay Crawford to provide depth to the defensive line this season.
Between McCoy, Poe, and the selection of wide receiver CeeDee Lamb during this year’s draft, optimism is high in Dallas. The start of the McCarthy era already just feels different from the one that preceded it. A year ago the Cowboys never would have drafted the best player available as they did with Lamb, and they never would have signed a player of Griffen’s caliber in free agency.
Instead, the team would opt to lean on the players currently on the roster instead of signing someone like a Griffen. That’s also the kind of thinking that made the Cowboys just outright ignore major areas of need for much of the last decade.
Griffen boosted the Cowboys’ forecasted win total from 9.3 to 9.5 via the SportsLine Projection Model (see below) and their chances of winning the division from 50.9 percent to 54 percent. Dallas reaching the playoffs rose from 68.8 percent to 72.8.
William Hill sportsbook has improved the Cowboys from +1600 to +1500 on the moneyline odds to win the Super Bowl and +110 to -120 to win the NFC East, but it should be noted that those movements were due to the public starting to bet heavier on the Cowboys – there is no more “public” team in the league — with the NFL season approaching rather than Griffen himself altering those numbers. Dallas remains at Over-Under 9.5 wins, but the Over is now a -145 favorite.
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