Jerry Jones is on a mission to bring his beloved Dallas Cowboys back to the Super Bowl again. It’s been 24 years since the Cowboys last lifted the Lombardi Trophy, and Jones is fed up. The outspoken GM has been more aggressive this offseason than in years past, and it’s led to a promising roster leading into the 2020-21 season.
This week, Jones made another splash in free agency by signing former Minnesota Vikings standout Everson Griffen. Griffen puts the cherry on top of the Cowboys‘ revamped defensive line. The pass rush has been a glaring issue for Dallas of late, but Jones might’ve just fixed one of the team’s biggest weaknesses.
The Cowboys have had a below-average pass rush for years
In the current NFL, it’s all about the passing game. Quarterbacks in today’s game are breaking passing records seemingly every week, so defenses have had to adjust to the new normal.
Instead of big, run-stuffing defensive lineman leading the defense, edge pass rushers have become a premium in the NFL. If QBs are dropping back more often and taking more time to set up the deep ball, defenses need effective rushers to mess up the rhythm of the passing game.
The Cowboys haven’t adapted to the new game as well as other teams. Since 2011, Dallas hasn’t recorded 40 or more sacks in a single season. The Cowboys have ranked in the bottom half of the NFL in sacks in eight consecutive years.
The defense has still been one of the best in the NFL in terms of points allowed over the past few years, but an elite pass rush would put the Cowboys over the top. They might’ve just found one.
The Cowboys boost their pass rush by signing Everson Griffen
Jerry Jones is starting to buckle down and attack the Cowboys’ areas of weakness over the past few years. With just three playoff appearances in 10 seasons, Dallas was in need of a roster tranformation.
Jones has been revamping his defensive line all offseason, and he just made his biggest move yet. On Wednesday, the Cowboys agreed to a one-year deal with Pro Bowl DE Everson Griffen worth $6 million. Griffen could be the last piece of the puzzle to jolt this defensive line unit from mediocre to elite.
Griffen had 8.0 sacks last year for the Vikings. Besides Robert Quinn, who is no longer with the team, no one on the Cowboys had more than 5.0 sacks last season. Griffen could very well be the new best pass rusher in Dallas.
Griffen is the final piece of the puzzle for Jerry Jones’ revamped defensive line
Griffen wasn’t the only impressive signing along the defensive front this offseason for Jerry Jones. The Cowboys also added Gerald McCoy, Aldon Smith, and Dontari Poe to strengthen their pass rush.
The veteran group could be just what the Cowboys need to boost their sack numbers and make a deep run in the playoffs.
In a game where throwing downfield on offense and getting to the quarterback on defense have taken precedence, Jones has finally built a team ready to compete for a title in the new NFL.