USC football in the NFL: Everson Griffen joins fellow Trojans in Dallas

Former USC football lineman Everson Griffen. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Former USC football lineman Everson Griffen. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Former USC football defensive lineman is set to join the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent.

The NFL free agent merry-go-round finally stopped for former USC football lineman Everson Griffen this week.

Griffen is on the verge of officially signing a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, ready to play his 11th season in the league.

As one of the biggest free agents on the market, Griffen was a big get for the Cowboys, but a loss for Pete Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks, who were also in the running.

Griffen will see some familiar USC football faces in Dallas.

It’s not the Trojan reunion we might have expected but there will be a Trojan reunion nonetheless.

In Dallas, Griffen will join up with defensive tackle Antwaun Woods and offensive tackle Tyron Smith. Griffen and Smith were teammates on USC’s 2008 and 2009 squads.

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The deal with the Cowboys is worth $6 million, according to Kimberley A. Martin of ESPN. Griffen will make $3 million in base salary with an additional $3 million in roster bonuses on the table.

Griffen was brought into the league by the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He spent a decade with the team amassing 86 tackles for loss, including 74.5 sacks.

The former Trojan started to make waves in the latter half of his time in Minnesota. In 2014, he posted his first double-digit sack total with 12. He’d go on to earn three straight Pro Bowl berths in 2015, 2016 and 2017. That last year he was voted first-team All-Pro by Sporting News with a career-high 13 sacks.

The 2018 season was abridged as Griffen dealt with mental health concerns. Thankfully, he was able to bounce back in a big way with another Pro Bowl season in 2019.

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The newest Trojan addition to the Cowboys might be thanks to Dallas defensive assistant George Edwards, who was the defensive coordinator for the Vikings during Griffen’s best years, from 2014 to 2019.

At 32 years old, Griffen will have to acclimate quickly to his new environment. Practices will begin this weekend.

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