The Philadelphia Eagles won’t be facing Everson Griffen when they host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football this week.
The Cowboys reportedly traded the veteran defensive end to the Detroit Lions in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick.
It’s a sensible deal for Dallas. They’re moving on from a 32-year-old who won’t be a long-term piece and picking up a draft asset during a lost season.
Still, the move could hurt their pass rush picture in the short-term. Griffen has been solid for Dallas; he ranks second on the team in sacks and third in tackles for loss. Pro Football Focus has Griffen graded 22nd out of 56 edge rushers in their “Pass Rushing Productivity” metric. (For perspective, Derek Barnett is 24th.)
Griffen caused problems for the Eagles when he wrecked Andre Dillard as a member of the Minnesota Vikings in 2019. He also got shut down by Halapoulivaati Vaitai once upon a time, so it’s not like he always dominated the Birds.
Perhaps Griffen’s replacements will turn out to be upgrades on him. Randy Gregory has flashed when he’s actually been able to stay on the field in the past. Cowboys fans are hopeful about fifth-round rookie Bradlee Anae.
But it’s quite possible those guys won’t be as good as Griffen would’ve been and that’s bad news for a Cowboys defense that’s already allowing the most points per game in the NFL. The Eagles must take advantage.