Earl Thomas wants to play for the Dallas Cowboys. He admitted that when he played for the Seattle Seahawks. Since his conduct issues and subsequent release from the Baltimore Ravens, the Cowboys were always considered the frontrunner to claim the six-time Pro Bowl safety. It hasn’t happened. Yet.
Three games into the 2020 NFL season and the Cowboys are a bottom-five defense against the pass. While Thomas has had some off-field issues in recent months, his track record on the field over the course of a decade has proven to be a difference maker. For that reason alone, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman believes Thomas might be getting a phone call this week.
Earl Thomas’ career in Seattle and Baltimore
For the last decade, Earl Thomas has proven year after year he is one of the best safeties in the NFL. In Seattle, he earned six Pro Bowls appearances and three All-Pro selections. After the 2018 season, Thomas signed a four-year, $55 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens.
He played for the Ravens last season and finished with 49 tackles, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. He earned his seventh Pro Bowl selection. However, in the last few months, things took a wrong turn for Thomas on and off the field.
An altercation with his wife in May made police blotter headlines when she held him at gunpoint. After several self-inflicted wounds by Thomas, like being late to practice more than once, and fighting with fellow safety Chuck Clark, the Ravens had seen enough. Despite his play on the field, the off-field issues were considered dealbreakers. The Ravens released Thomas in late August.
Jerry Jones and Cowboys have never denied interest in Thomas
Since the Ravens released Earl Thomas, he has been linked with the Dallas Cowboys more than any other team, and with good reason. The native Texan who grew up a Cowboys fan has never shied away from his affinity for the Pokes. He even suggested he wanted to play for the club when he was still employed by the Seahawks.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has made numerous appearances on 105.3 The Fan since Thomas was released and has never denied an interest in the former University of Texas star.
“One of the biggest things that you weigh, and it’s the obvious, but it’s right, is you evaluate where we are at safety, where we are at the secondary, where we are at our numbers,” Jones said. “These decisions, like the one you’re talking about with Earl, they’re never served up like a softball. They always come in awkward; they always come in with a little hair on it. That’s where I step in.”
Troy Aikman thinks Cowboys might call Earl Thomas
Three games into the 2020 NFL season and the Cowboys have a 1-2 record that could easily be 0-3 if not for a miracle comeback against the Atlanta Falcons. And that lackluster record is a direct result of poor defensive play, especially in the secondary.
The Cowboys defense ranks eighth-worst in the league for total yards allowed per contest surrendering 404 yards. It’s even worse against the pass. The Dallas defense is fifth-worst allowing 277 yards per contest. Seattle’s Russell Wilson torched the Dallas defense through the air completing 27-of-40 attempts for 315 yards and five touchdowns. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan threw four touchdowns the week before.
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy worked in the broadcast booth for Fox during the Seattle-Dallas contest and offered up his honest assessment after the game.
“After what happened tonight with some of the issues at safety and the big plays, Earl Thomas may be getting a phone call,” Aikman admitted.
Earl Thomas coming to Dallas wouldn’t cure all the ills of the Cowboys defense, but it certainly would provide a secondary that has surrendered nine passing touchdowns in its last two games with some much-needed experience, and more importantly, a fear factor that opposing quarterbacks and receivers would have to respect when playing the Cowboys.
Now the question is, whether or not Jones will pull the trigger on Earl Thomas. At this point, he’s really got nothing to lose.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.