5. Everson Griffen, EDGE, 2020
Looking back now, the 2020 offseason might have been a masterclass for the Dallas Cowboys. None of the moves they made worked but that plays right into their hands.
For years, fans were clamoring for more help on the defensive line and the front office finally obliged. The problem is, none of the moves they made worked. At all.
Take Everson Griffen as an example. Once thought of as a premier pass rusher in the NFL, Griffen hit the open market that offseason following 10 years with the Minnesota Vikings. He was 33 years of age when he got to Dallas but he still had something in the tank, evident by his 41 tackles and eight sacks in 2019.
But with the Cowboys, he offered almost nothing. In seven games, Griffen has 20 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He was sent to the Detroit Lions on October 27 in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick. In Detroit, Griffen performed better, with 3.5 sacks, eight quarterback hits, and three pass defenses.
He returned to the Vikings in 2021 and had 15 tackles and five sacks in nine games. Clearly, he was still a decent player but just didn’t fit with Dallas. But at least that’s one more reason the front office can point to when saying they don’t want to chase free agents because they “like our guys.”
That’s playing chess. Not checkers.