NFL

Stephen Jones Quietly Hints at Earl Thomas Joining Cowboys

Star safety Earl Thomas finds himself out of a job in the NFL after being cut after one season with the Baltimore Ravens. That has put him on the open market with the immediate connection to playing in his home state of Texas for possibly the Dallas Cowboys. It’s a scenario that many have pegged as being the most likely to unfold for the seven-time Pro Bowler. With that in mind, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones may have just given the green light to that plan.

Earl Thomas let go by the Ravens

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Things have taken a rough turn for Earl Thomas as his brief tenure with the Ravens has ended after one season due to conduct that is detrimental to the team.

That comes after the former Pro Bowler was involved in an altercation during practice that saw him punch fellow safety Chuck Clark. Baltimore sent Thomas home, and he did not return to the team’s practice facility following the incident.

Other reasons for the move have emerged as he has had additional internal issues with the Ravens. 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.

It puts Thomas on the open market as the Ravens had trouble finding a trade partner, which they were willing to take a substantial financial hit to let 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.

Stephen Jones suggests Cowboys may sign Earl Thomas

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It’s quite easy to connect the dots to the Cowboys being the apparent frontrunner to land Earl Thomas. Dallas attempted to acquire Thomas before and during the 2018 season when he played for the Seattle Seahawks.

That even led to the 31-year-old to tell then-head coach Jason Garrett to get him after a regular-season game. During an interview on Monday with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones subtly hinted that a deal with Thomas could be worked out similarly to how they landed star defensive end Everson Griffen, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic.

“Just as we didn’t talk about Everson until it was done, we found that works much better for us. As I said, we’re in it 365 days a year and we’re always looking to get better.”

The one-year deal with Griffen quickly came to be without much chatter publicly from the team. The Cowboys hammered out the contract without any distractions, which could be the route that they take with Thomas if the mutual interest remains.

The Cowboys need to improve their secondary, especially after Byron Jones elected to sign with the Miami Dolphins in free agency earlier this offseason. The team also failed to land Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams before being traded to the Seahawks. Thomas can smoothly fit into Dallas’ defense as a crucial piece to the puzzle.

Other options on the table?

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At this juncture, the Cowboys look to be the clear-cut frontrunner to land Earl Thomas.

The obvious connections are there, while his addition would help them compete for more than the NFC East division title in the 2020 season. Other teams could emerge in the picture, but none have yet to make a strong push to land him. It’s a fluid situation that he likely hopes to quickly find a new NFL home where he can get his career back on track.

There’s no clarity to how much gas he has left in the tank, but he’s proven to be one of the league’s best safeties throughout his career. Thomas can be a huge impact player for any secondary he decides to join.