On Tuesday morning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Dallas Cowboys are “not expected” to sign Earl Thomas following rampant speculation linking the Pro Bowl safety to the Lone Star State. Although Dallas “made some inquiries,” according to Rapoport, the “love affair ends here.”
Unless it doesn’t.
Minutes after Rapoport’s tweet went live, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones appeared on 105.3 The Fan to clarify the team’s interest in Thomas — and call out #fakenews.
The longtime league newsbreaker took Jones’ barb in stride and held firm to what he’s learned.
“Gotta love Jerry Jones… who said the same thing — “He has no idea” — when I reported midway through the season that Dak was going to get franchise tagged. Anyway, Dallas has had some talks about Earl Thomas, has not made an offer, and there is no expectation they will,” Rapoport tweeted.
It doesn’t sound as if Rapoport is too far off from the truth. Jones conceded he’s yet to “visit personally” with the three-time All-Pro, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, and there are no indications a meeting is imminent.
“We’re just weighing where we are on our roster right now,” Jones said, via the team’s official website.
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Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones was asked Monday amid swirling speculation whether the club will bring aboard Thomas. He didn’t say yes. And he didn’t say no.
“Just as we didn’t talk about Everson until it was done. We found out that works much better for us,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “As I said, we’re in it 365 days a year and we’re always looking to get better. Obviously, it’s not very productive for us to talk about anything that might be in the works because it can always work against you.”
Sports Illustrated’s Mike Fisher reported the Joneses are conducting a background check of sorts on Thomas, whom the Ravens cut for punching a teammate at training camp. There’s no doubt he’d upgrade a Cowboys secondary that was as lethal as a water pistol in 2019. There is doubt, however, as to whether his toxicity would poison the culture instilled by new head coach Mike McCarthy during his first year on the job.
“Whenever we evaluate a player we look at the full body of work. … Whether it’s medical. Whether it’s chemistry and culture on our football team. Off the field, on the field. And then the tape, how has that player played as of late. It all goes into the equation, into the mix into how you ultimately decide do you want to go after that player,” Stephen Jones said on the K&C Masterpiece, per Radio.com. “If so, what are you willing to do in terms of the resources, the money. How is it going to help us win?”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL