Remember the love affair the Dallas Cowboys had with Seahawks safety Earl Thomas? 2018 was the year of back-and-forth messages that fueled speculation of where Thomas would end up. His season-ending injury in October ended all the mess, but now he is a free agent and the speculation is back. For the Cowboys’ sake, they need to squash this affair before it begins again.
There are many good to great reasons why Earl Thomas would be a quality addition to any team’s defensive unit. Since he has entered the NFL, he is one of the best ball-hawking safeties we have seen since Ed Reed. Thomas has 28 interceptions in his career, 3 of which came last season when he just played 4 games. While the Cowboys have capable players at safety in Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath, they don’t force turnovers or picks, something this team desperately needs. Another big reason is Thomas’ high football I.Q. which helps put him in position to make plays. With the playmakers already on the Cowboys’ defense ready to roll for next season, Earl Thomas would elevate the whole unit to the next level.
It sounds great! So let’s sign him up.
The problem is that Thomas comes with a lot of baggage. His injury history and age are certainly going to play a huge reason why the Cowboys won’t sign him. As the former Longhorn turns 30 this May, he is coming off a serious lower-leg injury. This is his second leg injury in just three-years, which isn’t something that teams want to hear when signing a free-agent. He may be one of the best at his position but can you rely on the guy to keep playing.
Another reason is to consider is the price that Thomas would want. He wasn’t shy about letting people how he wouldn’t take any kind of discount and would want to get what he believes is a fair-market value. He now faces negotiations with Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones who has shown his disdain for free-agency. Stephen is more focused on drafting and focusing on retaining guys who already have a place on the team. Knowing Stephen Jones has already pointed out that they were to focus more on their own free agents than going out and shopping on the market. That doesn’t bode well for Thomas.
Now you could bring Thomas on this team and it could work out, but that means you will be saying good bye to other teammates like Cole Beasley, Amari Cooper, or even Byron Jones. As good as he is, I don’t want to start losing impact players for one really good player.
If this deal was being made just two or three years ago, it would be the perfect move and the team would be instant contenders. There is just too much riding on the team’s young core to just go and make a risky move in signing an aging and injured safety.
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