Now that the rumblings of the Earl Thomas to the Dallas Cowboys are starting again, maybe the best thing the Cowboys can say this season is “No, Thank you.”
Once the NFL draft was over and Earl Thomas to the Dallas Cowboys didn’t happen, many had moved on thinking the move wouldn’t happen. With Thomas skipping minicamp, the discussion is heating up again. Sure, the move could happen, but the smart move would be to say, no.
Look, Earl Thomas has been one of the best safeties in the league, this isn’t debatable. What is debatable is whether he can play for the duration of a long contract and whether it’ll be to the quality we expect. He is holding out right now for a new multi-year deal that would pay him well north of $10 million annually.
Let’s think about that for a minute. Thomas is 29, coming off some injuries, and wants to be paid like he is 25 and has never had an injury. He might be worth the money for a year, maybe two, but how much longer could he be worth that kind of money is anyone’s guess. Odds are he won’t be the best one of the top 5 safeties in a few years, even though he’ll still be paid like one.
So, okay, let’s look past the salary for a minute. Say the Dallas Cowboys really do want to pay Thomas for about four years at about $9 million a year. They still have to get Thomas, which as we last knew was about a second round draft pick. Are both the draft pick and the salary worth a 29 year old safety who, again, is coming off injuries? That price seems a little steep.
Say the Cowboys do all of this and get Thomas. Okay, but how long will he be what many believe he is? If you get two seasons out of Thomas, you still have two more years at a fairly high salary and now looking once again his replacement. It just doesn’t make sense to not only pay him, but also lose a second round pick for two years.
In 2016 after breaking his fibula, Thomas contemplated retirement. He has had a shoulder issue, a foot problem, and a recent history of hamstring issues. Thinking Thomas will stay healthy, as he approaches 30, is betting against the odds. Injuries, once you start getting them, seem to continue.
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I like Thomas and think he could be a good addition to a very young and inexperienced secondary. However, for the money and the draft pick, he just isn’t worth it. Thomas is set to be a free agent next season. If you believe he will be good for another few years, just wait and get him next offseason. Even then I would not look to sign him longer than a few seasons.
Thomas is getting older, and wants one more payday based on his name and history. The Dallas Cowboys just got out of salary cap hell, would they want to spend big money again on a player who may not be here by the end of his contract?
Whether or not the Dallas Cowboys get Earl Thomas will eventually be answered. Right now the asking price for the return just looks too high. Jerry and Stephen Jones will do what they want and for at least a few seasons I don’t think too many people would argue with the move. It will be the long-term that will be the issue.