When the Baltimore Ravens released star safety Earl Thomas, the Dallas Cowboys were immediately connected as the favorites to land him. Despite having a clear need in the secondary, though, it seems Dallas might not be interested in Thomas after all.
Just days after being cut by the Ravens for multiple team infractions, the chances of Thomas returning to play football at home in Texas look nonexistent.
Dallas Cowboys won’t pursue Earl Thomas
Ever since Thomas urged the Cowboys to acquire him in 2017, the two sides have frequently been linked together.
When the Seattle Seahawks shopped the star safety before the 2018 season, they discussed a deal with Dallas. The Cowboys maintained their interest in acquiring Thomas through the 2018 offseason and they pursued him in free agency last offseason.
With Thomas now free to sign with any team and the Ravens owing him more than $10 million, now would seem like the perfect moment for Dallas to strike. However, amid growing reports about Thomas’ former teammates and coaches not liking him, the Cowboys’ interest seems to be fading.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys aren’t expected to be among Thomas’ suitors at this time. While head coach Mike McCarthy said they discussed Thomas as a free-agent addition, the organization clearly doesn’t feel he would be the right fit for the team.
A return to Texas seemed to be a reasonable outcome for Thomas. He grew up there and played college football at the University of Texas, emerging as a star for the Longhorns before becoming a first-round pick.
With the Cowboys out and the Houston Texans also not interested, per the Houston Chronicle‘s John McClain, Thomas likely won’t get the homecoming he may have wanted.
There’s no denying the 31-year-old safety is still an impactful player. He made the Pro Bowl in 2019, the seventh time he has achieved that honor in his NFL career. Thomas’ stats are also impressive with 72 pass deflections, 30 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles since entering the league in 2010.
Unfortunately, Thomas’ reputation has now done damage to his standing around the league. Between fights with teammates, blowing off team meetings, locker room issues and an off-field situation with his wife, there is a lot for teams to weigh.
With Thomas’ skills in decline, teams clearly aren’t as confident that the issues he will cause justify his on-field impact.