The Dallas Cowboys need a new starting safety and Earl Thomas is looking like a fantastic trade target. Should the Cowboys trade Dez Bryant for Thomas?
The Dallas Cowboys have a pretty interesting situation going on with Dez Bryant. The Cowboys star wide receiver will cost the team quite a bit over the next two years and impact their salary cap tremendously.
Rumors of a release or trade have been rampant all offseason but one of the more interesting ideas was swapping Bryant for Seattle Seahawks free safety, Earl Thomas. Thomas made headlines when he apparently expressed interest in joining the Cowboys organization after a regular season game. But would that trade actually make sense?
The trade itself would be interesting as the Seahawks own the number 18th pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft and the Cowboys are right behind them at 19. Dallas has a surplus of mid-round picks that could help these two teams facilitate a trade.
Thomas himself has at least seemed as if he is interested in a change of scenery and Bryant has not had such an easy time in Dallas over the last two seasons. In terms of contract status, Thomas has one more year left on his deal while Dez is only eligible to become a free agent in 2020 unless the Cowboys opt out of his contract next year.
Bryant’s contract is also worth a bit more than Thomas however he could be worth the price to Seattle. The Seahawks will lose a lot of weapons this offseason as tight end Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson, and Thomas Rawls are all poised to hit free agency. The Seahawks need to spend most of their cap space on rebuilding their offensive line or retaining players who are leaving.
It is unlikely they could retain Graham as he should draw massive amounts of interest on the open market. If the Seahawks create enough cap space, a trade here is absolutely possible. Adding Bryant would add a new dynamic to the Seahawks offense it has not seen in quite a while.
Bryant would immediately be the most physical receiver on the Seahawks roster and would make a great compliment to Doug Baldwin. On the flip side, the Cowboys would immediately gain a starting free safety, which means they could move Byron Jones back to cornerback.
The lineup of Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Jourdan Lewis at the starting cornerback positions plus Thomas at safety would be the most competitive group of defensive backs that the Cowboys have put onto the field in quite some time. They would simultaneously help out both their pass rush and their offense by gaining a star at the safety position.
In terms of stats, both players have missed a fair amount of time over the last two seasons with Thomas likely getting the edge on reliability. Bryant has been on the field but injuries have caused him to be more ineffective than usual.
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Realistically these are two high caliber players who could help out both organizations in different ways. The Cowboys will be looking hard at the safety position during the offseason and Earl Thomas’s name has to come up eventually.
They could also draft a younger player in the Spring, however, there are only two first round graded safeties in this draft and they will have a tough time falling to Dallas. The Cowboys most aggressive and surefire way to solidify the safety position would be to initiate this trade.
Worst comes to worst, Dallas can draft/add free agent wide receivers throughout the offseason and if they deal with the safety position via trade, then they can go after a first-round wide receiver. Rebuilding the wide receiving corps will become priority number one if the Cowboys can somehow secure a starting safety.