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Dallas Cowboys Need to Go All In and Sign Earl Thomas

The NFL season is right around the corner and in just nine days, the Dallas Cowboys will take the field against the Los Angeles Rams. Finally, we’ll be able to see this football team on the field for real and begin to see just what they’re made of. As they get ready to kick off the regular season, this is a team with lofty aspirations and on paper, looks to have the team to achieve those goals. To hear the Cowboys talk, the ultimate goal is to compete for a Super Bowl. If they’re serious about doing so, then they shouldn’t leave anything to chance and they should sign Earl Thomas.

The NFL kicks off in six days and the Dallas Cowboys travel to face the Los Angeles Rams in nine days. Still, the Dallas Cowboys have questions at safety. If it feels like we’ve brought up the safety position a bunch for years, it’s because it’s been a problem for years. After Darian Thompson outplayed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in training camp, leading to Clinton-Dix’s release, we’re here yet again talking about the safety position.

It’s certainly possible that the coaching staff feels good about Darian Thompson starting at safety after seeing his 2019 game film and watching him in training camp practices. If the Dallas Cowboys go into the season with Xavier Woods and Darian Thompson at safety, perhaps they’ll be just fine. However, it runs somewhat counterintuitive to how they’ve handled questions this offseason.

The Cowboys have worked this offseason to solidify questions and set their team up to make a run to the playoffs and deeper in 2020. Though they allowed Byron Jones to walk in free agency, they spent considerable resources in both the draft and free agency to supplement the cornerback group with options. They added Dontari Poe, Aldon Smith, and Everson Griffen to help DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford along the defensive line. Then, when they could have waited on wide receiver, they took arguably the best wide receiver in the draft, giving them an embarrassment of riches with CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup.

And yet, they still have an issue at safety. They need to add Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas is a 3x All-Pro and 7x Pro Bowl selection, one of nine safeties in the history of the NFL to record those accolades. Earl Thomas is the only active safety of the group and seven of the other eight safeties have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and the one that hasn’t, Charles Woodson, will eventually be enshrined in Canton, Ohio.

Though the Dallas Cowboys have added players to help solidify the cornerback position, we don’t yet know what’s going to happen there with Jourdan Lewis and Chidobe Awuzie dealing with injuries. Trevon Diggs has had an outstanding training camp, but rookies can have a difficult time making the transition to the NFL. With questions at cornerback, it makes sense to solidify the back end of your defense with a future Hall of Fame safety.

While Earl Thomas comes with some baggage, he’s still a tremendous player that can help the Dallas Cowboys defense and help them win games. He has a lot of experience and has played in a lot of big games for both the Seattle Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens. He’s averaged three interceptions a season over the course of his 10-year career. Even in 2018 when he played just four games for the Seahawks, he recorded three interceptions. The guy knows how to create turnovers and isn’t that what this defense is supposedly all about.

The Cowboys have flirted with adding Earl Thomas to their defense since 2018 and have always found a reason to talk themselves out of it. They’ve been unwilling to address the safety position with a significant signing or in the premium rounds of the draft for years now. This is the time to pull the trigger.

Earl Thomas is a player that makes your defense better, therefore making your team better. In a league that has become as pass-happy as the NFL has over the last decade, it’s important to have players that can cover and cover well. Especially as the Dallas Cowboys will have one of the most explosive offenses in football in 2020, they need to have a defense that can keep teams from throwing the ball and working their way back into the game. That’s why they added Aldon Smith and Everson Griffen. They want a defense that can be a closer by rushing the passer and providing tight, opportunistic pass defense.

Though Ha Ha Clinton-Dix didn’t work out, the Cowboys still have an option to improve their defense with Earl Thomas on the market. They’ll be making a lot of roster moves over the next 24 hours as they work to get down to 53 before the Saturday deadline. Amidst all the cuts, waiver claims, and movement of players to the practice squad, they need to bring Earl Thomas in for a visit and not let him leave without a contract. As the season inches closer, now’s the time to strike.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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  1. I don’t know John, while we definately have a need at the position what happens if he underperforms at some point (possible) and he gets some hard coaching. Will he implode again like he did with the Ravens? It’s one thing to be competitive, but by all accounts he was despised by his teammates. Is this a guy u want around if we run into some adversity and need some stable leadership. To me unless he performs at near pro bowl level (which I’m skeptical of at his age) IMHO he isn’t worth the risk. For a team already loaded I would be hesitant to mess with the delicate chemistry they are trying to attain. Twist my arm though I say sign him to 1 yr inc laden contract with the stipulation T Crawford kicks his ass if he gets out of line.

  2. The author brings up some good points for signing Thomas, “pass happy league”, “3 INTs per year”, the awards, etc. The flip side would be the “baggage” (missed or late to multiple meetings, flipping the bird to a Head Coach, fighting with players on YOUR side of the ball, etc.) and last year, inspite of Pro Bowl, was just not very good. N Chubb 88 yard run, D Henry stiff arm in playoffs both cringe worthy. Agree with another commenter, his best years may be behind him. Letting Dix go should not put us in panic mode, as another post brought up earlier. Apparently the coaches are doing their due diligence, no matter if it means cutting a somewhat splashy signing.

  3. Former McCarthy draft pick from his GB days was just cut … Damarious Randall. If memory serves, he’s a guy the Cowboys liked a bit in that draft.

  4. They should have signed Earl in 2018. They didnt do that & look where it got us. Out of the playoffs. They should have signed Jamal Adams before Seattle. They did not. They must sign Earl right now or our back end is going to look like a HORROR show. Jerry simply cannot put a low premium on the Safety position ever again with the Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jacksons, Deshaun Watons & Kyler Murrays of the world running all over the filed like lighting & firing cruise missles 70 yards plus. Dallas or no team can survive any longer in this league with sub par or shotty safety play. Our safety department has looked like a NIGHTMARE since Darren Woodson left years & years ago. Period. Jerry sign Earl now or well get steam rolled by the all star quarterbacks of today. Sign Earl & we just may get to the big show this year. First time since the Freaking 90s !

  5. I think back to 2011 when Namdi Asumguha was widely considered the top FA available. He signed a 4 year $60M contract in Philly. He fell off a cliff and 2.5 years later was out of football. My point? Over 30 DBs don’t work out and aren’t worth the money. Add to the mix ET’s character issues and Dallas would be CRAZY to potentially poison a locker room full of good young talent with a diva with declining skills and a bad attitude.
    Strap ’em up with what they ve got and play.

  6. The entire premise of this article is wrong. The Defenses entire responsibility is to stop the other team from scoring points. Now if creating turnovers helps you do that (which of course it usually does) then great. But getting off the field, through turnovers, run stuffs, pass breakups, etc. is the #1 goal of the D. And if Thomas got voted off his team by his teammates, then that means there’s something seriously wrong with the guy (like he’s a locker room cancer). So I say stick with what we have unless he’ll play for the League minimum with incentives and a very low guarantee.

  7. When it comes to high priced FAs u often times don’t see a good return on your investment. U generally have to engage in a bidding war and usually end up WAY overpaying for their services, which has an adverse effect on your cap. That’s why successful teams are built thru the draft and in house, with the occasional reasonable FA signing. With that said there are only a couple of positions where it at least makes more sense (QB/EDGE RUSHER/LT) which is why passing on J Adams and E Thomas (before he signed with Ravens) was smart. Safeties are simply not enough of a difference maker to use a big chunk of your cap space on, and the ET of today will not be good enuf to justify bringing hm into a young ascending team, that is trying to build a cohesive team/culture. The Jerry J of 5-10 yrs ago would have already signed him! However I see a seismic shift in the cowboys philosophy/culture recently and I like what I see. Here’s hoping we keep moving in that direction.

  8. Guys everyone is blind if they think we can go to the superbowl with the current safeties on the roster. They should sign Earl Thomas & Damarius Randall this morning before lunch ! Safeties in the year 2020 are just as crucial as pass rushers. Time to open your eyes & its time for Jerry to open his too. How did Seattle dominate for all those years ????? The Legion of Boom. Ignorance is Bliss. Defense wins Championships. Point blank.

  9. Seeing the safeties we have now I believe we don’t have much of a choice but to sign Earl Thomas!! Most of everybody on here are complaining saying he’s a locker room cancer and whatever else, but do you people not realize that Thomas has been wanting to play for the cowboys all his life…. So I think if he’s given the chance to play with them he’ll be a different person than he was with the other teams, and just in case he’s not we can just sign him to a decent contract and have it filled with ways for us to get out of his contract if he messes up!! Our secondary is scary to look at, we don’t have any pro bowl worthy players, we actually don’t have any starting caliber players in the secondary, just a bunch of really good backups!! So I say we should go out and sign Earl Thomas so we can have at least one proven player back there for us!! And then we can move Xavier Woods to the strong safety spot and maybe he’ll be better at that position!! And then we’ll have really good safeties in place!! If Xavier Woods don’t pan out in the strong safety spot then we can go sign Eric Reid to fill the strong safety spot and I know he is really good at strong safety!! Having those 2 playing the safety positions together would have us at the top of the league for one of the best safety duos in the NFL!! But either way we need to do something cause I’m definitely not comfortable with our safeties as we stand right now!! I’d be happy to just Eric Reid, but with Woods being hurt and being the only free safety we have, we HAVE to go get Earl Thomas just to have a starter to play for us!! Maybe Woods will be ready by week 1, but why take that chance when we really don’t have to!!

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