By Calvin Watkins

8:09 PM on Aug 12, 2020 CDT

The Cowboys bolstered their defensive line with the signing of veteran defensive end Everson Griffen to a one-year deal, the Cowboys announced Wednesday night.

The deal is worth $6 million with a $3 million base salary for 2020 and a possibility for Griffen to receive up to $3 million in incentives, according to a source.

There was interest in Griffen going back to the spring but he was looking at possibly returning to the Vikings, where he spent 10 seasons, compiling 74 1/2 sacks in 147 total games.

Cowboys have reached a contract with former Vikings edge rusher Everson Griffen, source confirms. Huge development at pivotal position on defensive line. Griffen joins group featuring DeMarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith. NFL Network first reported deal.

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 13, 2020

Everson Griffen signed a one-year $6 million deal with a $3 million base salary for 2020 with incentives that could reach $3 million.

— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) August 13, 2020

It’s the second consecutive year the Cowboys added a veteran defensive end to the defense. Last year, the Cowboys traded a 2020 sixth-round pick to Miami for Robert Quinn.

He led the Cowboys with 11 1/2 sacks last season before leaving in free agency, signing a five-year deal worth $70 million with the Chicago Bears.

In Griffen, 32, the Cowboys get a talented pass rusher that had 13 1/2 sacks and 37 quarterback hits the last two seasons.

Cowboys senior defensive assistant George Edwards is familiar with Griffen, having coached him from 2014 to 2019 when he was the defensive coordinator with the Vikings.

Griffen, a four-time Pro Bowler, is the fourth veteran defensive lineman signed this offseason. The Cowboys signed Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, a pair of interior linemen, and defensive end Aldon Smith after being reinstated from suspension by the NFL.

The Cowboys will utilize a 3-4 and 4-3 defensive alignment and will use numerous players toward that end to pair up with two-time Pro Bowl player DeMarucs Lawrence.

SportsDay contributor John Owning recently wrote about why Griffen would be a good fit for the Cowboys. Here’s what he had to say about him:

“While a lot of Cowboys Nation fantasizes about Jadeveon Clowney playing with a star on his helmet, Everson Griffen is actually a much better value on the open market.

“Griffen is older — which shouldn’t matter much because both players would likely sign one-year deals at this stage of free agency — and less impactful against the run than Clowney; however, he’s less of an injury risk, cheaper and a much, much better pass-rusher, which is much more valuable in today’s NFL.

“If you don’t believe me, just go back and watch Griffen’s performance against the Cowboys and Tyron Smith in Week 10. Griffen finished with seven pressures and a sack, all of which except two pressures came against Smith…

“By signing Griffen, the Cowboys would have the preeminent pass-rush duo in the NFL to go with one of the deepest depth charts in terms of edge-rushing ability.”

The Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken reports that Griffen will not attend the Cowboys’ first practice on Friday because he still has to complete the customary waiting period for coronavirus testing. The Cowboys are then expected to ease him into team activities.

Cowboys will practice Friday for first time this year. New DE Everson Griffen won’t be on field. He still has to complete the customary waiting period for COVID-19 testing; three negtative tests required. Team then expected to ease him into activities.

— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) August 13, 2020

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