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Former Viking Everson Griffen makes return to NFC North as member of Detroit Lions

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Dallas Cowboys defensive end Everson Griffen (97) looks on following a game against the New York Giants in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Everson Griffen is back in the NFC North, but not as a member of the Vikings.

The Dallas Cowboys traded the veteran defensive end to the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. The Cowboys will get a conditional 2021 sixth-round pick that could become a fifth-rounder, according to ESPN. The 32-year-old Griffen had 2.5 sacks for the Cowboys after signing late in the offseason. The Lions need help with their pass rush, ranking 28th in the NFL with eight sacks in six games.

The move comes as no surprise with Dallas sitting at 2-5 after losing on Sunday in Washington. The Lions are 3-3 and in third place in the division behind Green Bay (5-1) and Chicago (5-2).

Griffen, a fourth-round pick by the Vikings in 2010, had 74.5 sacks in 10 seasons with Minnesota, including eight last year. Griffen opted out of the final three years of his contract after 2019 and remained on the free agent market for much of the offseason.

Although the Vikings approached him about returning, Griffen signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Cowboys in August. Griffen will get a chance to face the Vikings (1-5) twice this season, including his debut with the Lions on Nov. 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium. He can’t play on Sunday against the Colts because of COVID-19 protocols.