Could the Cowboys be on the verge of landing another impact free agent on the defensive side of the ball for Mike McCarthy and company? Some big news broke on Sunday.
It didn’t take long for the Baltimore Ravens to make up their mind regarding the future of Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas, as the team announced on Sunday that it had released him for personal conduct that has adversely affected the franchise. This means that the Ravens will try to nullify the $10 million he was set to make in 2020. Not long after the decision was made, Thomas took to Instagram to thank the team.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Dallas Cowboys are the favorite to sign Thomas, while the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans are teams to keep an eye on as well. The Cowboys were always considered the favorite to land Thomas when he was going through his breakup with the Seattle Seahawks. Dallas did go out and sign former Chicago Bears safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in free agency, but Thomas would figure to be an instant upgrade in the secondary. Thomas’ price tag was always a hurdle when it came to a prospective move to Dallas, but now that he’s released, that may not be a problem for the Cowboys.
Ravens Release Earl Thomas; Inside The ‘Leading Contender’ Cowboys Interest – Mike Fisher, Cowboy Maven
Yep, the Earl Thomas-to-Dallas Cowboys rumors are back in a big way. But Mike Fisher looks into the possibility of it actually happening this time around.
If Earl Thomas (once a Seahawks protege of top assistant Kris Richard, who’s no longer in Dallas) comes free, will he work cheap? Will he get along with new co-workers? Will he accept assistance with his issues? Would his agent David Mulugheta (who is Texas-based and who also reps safety Xavier Woods) be part of a “support system’’?
These were not on-the-table issues in Frisco as of Saturday night. Again, there’d been no financially-related in-house talk at all about such a move. … But Jerry Jones’ personnel department’s job is to stay on top of everyone and everything.
Dallas’ personnel department is on top of this. And 77-year-old Jerry Jones is hungry.
No doubt, from the outside, adding the name “Earl Thomas’’ to this roster is alluring. But after a year of behavioral decline that demonstrates a need for help, what Earl Thomas is going to need here inside The Star is … “a sponsor.’’
Cowboys “Leading Contenders” To Get Earl Thomas, But Should They? – Mauricio Rodriguez, Inside The Star
The next question is how much interest should the Cowboys have in adding the veteran roster to its roster?
It’s not easy to be convinced about a player who’s had issues with his last two teams, but we know Thomas’ talent is special. We’ve seen players who leave teams on bad terms before shining on another one.
The Dallas Cowboys do not have a good situation at safety. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is not the answer at the position and while there are some exciting young players like Xavier Woods, Darian Thompson, and Donovan Wilson, the truth is they’re going to have issues this season.
Not to mention, the cornerback room is also filled with question marks. How good will Trevon Diggs be as a rookie and how fast will he develop? Is Jourdan Lewis not as good as we hoped or were his talents wasted by the old coaching staff? How will Chidobe Awuzie fare in a contract year?
There’s not a weaker unit on the team other than the defensive backfield. The Cowboys are serious Super Bowl contenders. As such, it wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world to go after Earl Thomas and get an All-Pro caliber player before the 2020 season.
There are some high expectations regarding what the 2020 Dallas Cowboys can accomplish. The good news is that the head coach is not shying away.
If he can truly get the most out of quarterback Dak Prescott, McCarthy may be able to deliver on his expectations and bring Dallas on a deep playoff run. With rookie wideout CeeDee Lamb joining Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Ezekiel Elliott in a talented group of skill position players, the pressure is on Prescott and his new head coach to play to their potential.
Regardless of how well the Cowboys play, they will likely still find themselves in the second tier of NFC contenders. The San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints are the conference’s clear favorites, but Dallas has the talent to challenge both and reach the same level as the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.
With such an enormous fan base, the Cowboys always have pressure to contend, but 2020 appears to be different. While Dallas always failed to live up to expectations under Jason Garrett, McCarthy isn’t shying away. The former Packers coach clearly believes in his roster, and with all of the talent in Dallas, he has every reason to.
Which players are standing out in training camp for the Cowboys? Here are five.
Aldon Smith, DE
After spending nearly five years out of the NFL, no one quite knew what to expect from former All-Pro pass rusher Aldon Smith. Even the Cowboys secured themselves some pass-rushing insurance by signing defensive end Everson Griffen recently.
Still, the news coming out of training camp about Smith has been very promising. Only 30-years old, the former first-rounder is apparently in terrific physical shape. And he’s done enough in training camp so far to please new head coach Mike McCarthy.
The truth is, the Cowboys took a risk signing Smith to a one-year deal worth up to $4 million. But it’s a gamble that has the potential to pay off big time.
Greg The Leg is ready for a bounce-back season in 2020.
On Sunday, Zuerlein didn’t go into detail of the injury, but said his job is to always make kicks, regardless of the situation.
“I think any time you had a bad year … you go back and see what am I doing right and what I’m doing wrong,” he said. “For one reason or the other, it didn’t go the way I want. Now I’m here, I have new teammates and new opportunities. Just being healthy and feeling good. I think I’m ready to go right now. We still have a few weeks to go. I’m looking forward to it. I’m excited.”
The Cowboys obviously feel confident enough in his abilities this year, having released his only competition in Kai Forbath, just a few days into camp. While Zuerlein said he’s always had someone else in camp with him, he prefers to get all the reps considering there are no preseason games and he needs to be sharp for the first game.
Especially, this first game, as the Cowboys return to Los Angeles where he will kick against his former team as they open the new stadium.
“I think it’s going to be a pretty sweet experience,” he said. “It’ll be exciting. It’s cool to play your old team in a new stadium. There will be a little bit of emotions just seeing the guys. At the end of the day, I’m so happy where I am.”
Want to get hyped about one of the members of the 2020 Dallas Cowboys rookie draft class? Watch this.
While it might be tough to make an official ruling on who truly had the best draft class this year, there’s plenty of support behind the class that the Dallas Cowboys put together in the 2020 NFL Draft. Oklahoma star wide receiver CeeDee Lamb highlighted the class, of course, but plenty of other talent made up a strong class.
The Lamb pick was followed by an equally strong pick in Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs. The brother an NFL wide receiver, Stefon, Diggs had a chance to be in the discussion as an early second-round pick or maybe even a late first-round pick. But he fell to the Cowboys in the second round and it looks like it could be a pick that pays off big.
In a video from practiced shared by the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon, Diggs can be seen defending former Ohio State wide receiver Noah Brown. As you can see in the video, Diggs isn’t ready to give any room to anyone on the field this year.