NFL

Earl Thomas Just Secured His Path to the Cowboys

Things have quickly gone awry for safety Earl Thomas over the last few days. His time with the Baltimore Ravens has come rapidly to a close before his second year with the franchise due to his behavior and decision-making. However, that has also opened the door for him to make a move that could land him back in his home state to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

Earl Thomas’ time with Ravens over

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Star safety Earl Thomas has seen his brief tenure with the Ravens quickly coming to an end after one season this weekend due to conduct that is detrimental to the team.

That comes after the former Pro Bowler was involved in an altercation with a teammate in practice that saw him punch fellow safety Chuck Clark. Baltimore sent the 31-year-old home, and he did not return to the team’s practice facility since the incident.

It’s believed that isn’t the only reason that the Ravens elected to let go of Thomas as he had other internal issues. He had been involved in a confrontation with defensive tackle Brandon Williams after a loss to the Cleveland Browns last season. He also reportedly missed or was late to several meetings throughout his brief stay in Baltimore.

That puts Thomas on the open market as the Ravens had difficulty finding a trade partner, which they were willing to take a substantial financial ding by letting him go. The organization will have a $15 million salary-cap hit in the 2020 season unless the team can avoid his $10 million guaranteed salary due to his conduct being detrimental to the franchise.

If that is the case, the Ravens would only be hit with $5 million this season and $10 million in the 2021 campaign. Nonetheless, Thomas’ time in Baltimore is over.

Earl Thomas has clear path to the Cowboys

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With Earl Thomas out the door in Baltimore, it opens up the Cowboys’ opportunity to land him.

Dallas has a long-held interest in landing the seven-time Pro Bowler that dates back to his time with the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys were linked to Thomas before the 2018 season after he was unable to get a new extension from the Seahawks. That saw the trade chatter persist through to the deadline in the 2018 campaign. 

He also voiced to then-head coach Jason Garrett after a game in that season to get him. However, Dallas was unwilling to meet the high trade demands that reportedly saw the Seattle demand a first-round draft pick. He became a free agent the following offseason, but the two sides didn’t work out a deal as Thomas elected to sign a four-year, $55 million contract with Baltimore.

That said, Thomas now has a chance to join Dallas as they are pegged as the favorites to land him, according to Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network. The Cowboys did not have an interest in trading for him, but they can sign him to a deal outright.

Perfect pairing?

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The Cowboys have been in desperate need to add more talent to their secondary over the last couple of offseasons.

That desire has become more pressing with star defensive back Byron Jones electing to join the Miami Dolphins in free agency earlier this offseason. Meanwhile, the Cowboys were unable to pry Pro Bowler Jamal Adams away from the New York Jets as they elected to trade him to the Seahawks.

There isn’t any clarity about how much Thomas has left in the tank, but the 31-year-old is a massive upgrade for the Cowboys’ secondary. He’s a proven talent that can make a significant impact on their defense. It’s not only a chance for Thomas to play in his home state of Texas but also be a crucial factor for a team that could have Super Bowl potential in 2020.