ARLINGTON - Today in the Cowboys Scrimmage here at AT&T Stadium, Dallas hopes to put on display its pair of "gets'' in the "arms race'' for pass-rush talent among NFC contenders.
That means in part the unveiling of newcomer Everson Griffen, who became a Cowboy this offseason after leaving the Minnesota Vikings following a decade of excellence there. In addition to DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas also tried to swing the pendulum by signing another free-agent pass-rush star, Aldon Smith, who'd been out of football for almost a half-decade.
But the Vikings just swung back.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to trade Pro Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to Minnesota in exchange for multiple draft picks. ESPN reports Minnesota will be sending a 2021 second-round pick and a conditional 2022 fifth-round pick (that can become a third-rounder) to Jacksonville.
Ngakoue, 25 and an elite player, has long wanted out of Jacksonville - a not-unusual NFL phenomenon. He is the Jaguars' franchise and will have to sign his tender in order to move to Minnesota and play under the tag number of $17.8 million for 2020. It's expected that Minnesota will next offseason work with him on a long-term deal that would continue to pair the 6-foot-2, 246-pound standout with fellow Pro Bowl defensive end Danielle Hunter.
Pass-rusher might be the second-most important position in the NFL, behind QB. The Cowboys have stockpiled theirs, and now Minnesota has done the same.
The two clubs are scheduled to play on Nov. 22 at Minnesota, and while divisional games are obviously the most important ones, as the Cowboys and Vikings both view themselves as NFC contenders, that game just got more interesting ... as a result of the "arms race.''