Speculation that intensified Friday morning when Kevin Turner of 97.1 The Eagle, citing Thursday’s release of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, reported the Pro Bowl safety would sign with the Cowboys “in the next 48 hours.”
“Doesn’t have much to do with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and I can’t guarantee pen will hit paper, but after originally thinking they’d try to wait until after Week1, I now think Earl Thomas is a Dallas Cowboy in the next 48 hours. A market has developed,” Turner tweeted.
Turner added: “In other words, they won’t admit it publicly, but they’re meeting with Earl soon either virtually or in person.”
Soon after, Jones took to the 105.3 The Fan airwaves. He didn’t offer much, as predicted, failing to corroborate the veracity of Turner’s potential bombshell. Jones claimed he was unaware of the report prior to the interview. “Claimed” being the operative word.
Jones has remained purposely tight-lipped regarding Thomas, whom the Baltimore Ravens cut last month for punching a teammate at training camp. In a Sept. 2 appearance on 105.3 The Fan, the Cowboys’ czar almost incomprehensibly deflected questions about the seven-time Pro Bowler.
“Discussions directly with Earl (Thomas) … we have not had any, but I have not had any either,” Jones said. “Discussions internally. We have discussions. Certainly, he’s an outstanding football player. We’re sitting here at personnel time and we’re looking for ways to get better. He’d be one of several we’d discuss during this particular time as we finalize this roster. It would be a misleading thing to say we haven’t discussed him, it would be a misleading thing to say that we have.”
NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported Monday that “no overtures” have been extended to Thomas’ camp. Slater’s sources relayed Friday they’re “genuinely oblivious to a meeting” between the sides, directly contradicting Turner’s hearsay.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill Jr. also dumped cold water on the rumor.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport previously reported that Dallas isn’t expected to sign Thomas, though that obviously might change in the wake of Clinton-Dix’s removal from the roster.
If the aforementioned buzz is correct, we’ll have a definitive answer by Sunday.
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Stephen Jones Comments on Safety Moves
Dallas expressed little (public) interest in the former Seahawks star prior to Clinton-Dix’s release. Perhaps now, with a void left behind, they’ll contact Thomas, right? Losing Clinton-Dix means possibly gaining the three-time All-Pro, yes?
“No,” Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said Thursday on 105.3 The Fan, per The Athletic. “Obviously won’t speak to any specific players, but certainly we’ll be trying to improve our football team.”
Unless or until the team adds another body at the position, fifth-year man Thompson is entrenched as Xavier Woods’ bookend, with sophomore Donovan Wilson functioning as the primary reserve. It’s likely that secondary coaches Al Harris and Maurice Linguist also ask cornerbacks Daryl Worley, Chidobe Awuzie, and Reggie Robinson to pull double duty.
“We really try to challenge the guys, and we brought in a mindset day one of — I think one of the worst things you can do is say, ‘This is what I am,’” Linguist recently said, via USA Today. “What we always do on the back end is plug and play the next best person, the next best player, not necessarily just the ‘backup of the position.’”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL