As coach of the Packers, Mike McCarthy faced Everson Griffen 18 times. The then-Vikings pass rusher had 48 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 24 quarterback hits in those games.
So it should have come as no surprise that McCarthy’s Cowboys would sign the free agent Griffen.
McCarthy was tired of facing him.
“I can’t say enough about Everson Griffen,” McCarthy said Saturday. “Just the fact of being able to compete against him twice a year, he was always the primary focus for us offensively. Going up against him, he’s a relentless player. He brings it every down. Has great passion for the game.
“I had an opportunity to visit with him, and he’s extremely excited. He’s a big personality, so I think he’s going to be a great fit for our football team.”
Griffen joins a defensive line that lost Michael Bennett and Robert Quinn in the offseason but has added Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe and Aldon Smith. The Cowboys also will see the return of Tyrone Crawford, who was injured most of last season, and still hope NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will reinstate Randy Gregory.
“Jerry and Stephen [Jones] say it all the time, player acquisition is 365 days a year, and that’s been clear here,” McCarthy said. “That’s been the method. We’ve been very fortunate to add players all along the way. I go through our whole free agent acquisition and our rookie class we put together. Jerry and Stephen and Will McClay have done a wonderful job staying after it. I’m no different than any head coach in this league. You want the most competitive roster that you possibly can.
“We all understand the priority of what pass rushers bring to your football team. We want to be explosive on offense, put points on the board, and then we really, really want to put our pass rushers in position to pin their ears back. That is part of the way we look to attack this season. You can never have enough good pass rushers.”