The Dallas Cowboys have been linked to Earl Thomas for a better part of the last year as a possible landing spot for the All-Pro Free Safety. Thomas grew up in Texas, having also played for the University of Texas. He is a home-town kid that would love to play for the team he watched growing up but would it make sense to spring a deal? Simple answer is no.
Yes, having Thomas would help enhance this defense. Especially considering that Xavier Woods isn’t ready to come back just yet. The former Longhorn could definitely help the defense but given the recent reports that the Hawks are asking for a first-round draft pick, this wouldn’t be best for business.
This is the type of deal a team should pull off for one of the five money positions. Of course, referring to the quarterback, left tackle, defensive end, wide receiver or cornerback. Not a free safety who just turned 29. That isn’t old by any means but will command a hefty salary at a position that most teams don’t pay a large portion of their salary.
Thomas is a six-time Pro Bowler, three-time first team All-Pro and twice a second team All-Pro in the final year of his contract. Those are big accolades that usually come with a big payday. Is Thomas worth that? Without a doubt but the Cowboys have to think about other positions first.
Dak Prescott will be heading into the final year of rookie deal in 2019. He will be getting his money. What about DeMarcus Lawrence? The team has decisions to make on their guys. Money aside, the biggest issue with a potential trade is premium draft capital. An argument can be made that a team would rather have Earl Thomas than Taco Charlton and Leighton Vander Esch. However, those players are on rookie deals, which are far more cost effective.
There has been a huge change in the Dallas Cowboys way of doing business in recent years. You don’t see the splashy free agent signings these days. The Cowboys use free agency as a way to fill in the holes on this team rather than using free agency as a way to build their team as used to be the case. If the team is serious about Earl, then he should be their target in free agency. This will allow them to keep their draft picks.
Set aside the financial and NFL Draft part of the equation, Xavier Woods has been viewed as their free safety of the future. Woods is coming into his second season and many analysts feel that he is the guy. If the teams want to know what they have, then once healthy he deserves all of the opportunities to prove them right or wrong.
As of this moment, the Dallas Cowboys front office made the right decision in passing on the Earl Thomas trade. If it was the correct move long-term remains to be seen.
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