The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly not expected to pursue free-agent safety Earl Thomas, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport noted that while the Cowboys “made some inquiries,” nothing is expected to come of it even though the two sides have often been linked for the past couple of years.
However, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was quick to refute Rapoport’s report.
During an appearance on 105.3 The Fan (via Clarence Hill Jr.of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram), Jones said the Cowboys are “weighing their roster at safety” before making a decision about pursuing Thomas. He said the team has yet to contact Thomas.
Jones also said Rapoport “doesn’t know what he’s talking about” with regard to his report that the Cowboys are out on Thomas, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic. He added, “The only one who knows that is me.”
In the wake of Jones’ comments, Rapoport stood by his initial reporting:
The Baltimore Ravens released Thomas on Sunday after he got into an on-field altercation with fellow safety Chuck Clark during practice Friday. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Thomas punched Clark.
According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Thomas also missed or was late to multiple meetings during his time in Baltimore. The Ravens released Thomas for “personal conduct that has adversely affected the team.”
The 31-year-old Thomas spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and was one of the league’s premier players at his position with six Pro Bowl nods, three All-Pro First Team selections and one Super Bowl win.
Thomas’ tenure in Seattle ended in turmoil, however, as the two sides could not come to terms on a contract extension. He suffered a broken leg in September of his final season with the Seahawks in 2018, and while he was being carted off, he flipped the middle finger to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
The Ravens signed Thomas to a four-year deal during the ensuing offseason, but his time in Baltimore ended after just one campaign.
Despite the issues that come along with him, Thomas can still play, as he made the Pro Bowl last season after registering 49 tackles, four passes defended and two interceptions.
It was widely assumed Dallas would be in the market for the Texas native following his release. After a game between the Seahawks and Cowboys in 2017, Thomas told then-Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, “If y’all have the chance, come get me.”
Dallas could have a solid safety combination this season in Xavier Woods and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but Thomas would be an upgrade considering all he has accomplished in his career.
If the Cowboys don’t attempt to sign him, Rapoportreported Sunday that the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans could be among the teams interested.