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Cowboys News: Earl Thomas explains why he walked into Cowboys locker room, “I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan”

Today’s Cowboys news: Earl Thomas still trying to come to Dallas? Senior Bowl standouts, and why Eagles fans aren’t sure what to do with themselves.

NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Earl Thomas Discusses Seahawks Contract Talks, Telling Cowboys to 'Come Get' Him - Mike Chiari, Bleacher Report
Six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro safety Earl Thomas would be such a huge addition to the Cowboys secondary. There is no secret he wants to play in Dallas and Jane Slater recently had a chance to talk with him. Here is his response about his after-game incident with Cowboys head coach, Jason Garrett:

"We had a great win. I feel like we played lights-out. Just emotional. I went to the locker room to talk to [Dez] Bryant, and I saw Coach Garrett. I've always been a Cowboys fan growing up. But the biggest thing when I say 'Come get me' is, I don't literally mean like, 'Come get me now.' I'm still in the prime of my career. I still want to be here, but when Seattle kicks me to the curb, please—the Cowboys—come get me. That's the only place I would rather be if I get kicked to the curb. So that's what I meant by it. People take life too serious. That's just who I am."

Earl Thomas talks about what Seahawks need to do for him to return - Kenneth Arthur, Field Gulls
How the Earl Thomas ordeal plays out has a lot to do with the Seahawks plan for the future. If they aren't interested in trying to extend him, it could open the door for a possible exit in Seattle for Thomas.

Thomas, 29 in May, is set to count $10.4 million against the cap next season, the final year of his four-year deal. If Thomas had more than one season left on his contract, there’d be little hope for the Seahawks giving him an extension, as their policy has been to not negotiate with a player unless the deal was expiring. Since 2018 is the final year of his contract though, it seems rational to assume that Seattle is open to extending a Hall of Fame-caliber safety who has yet to reach 30.

Given that, there’s a good chance that Thomas will receive the new deal he wants if the Seahawks don’t plan to rebuild the roster this year. The reason for keeping Thomas in that case is that Pete Carroll is surely thinking about how much longer he can keep coaching, both in general and in Seattle, which would make a rebuild for 2019 or later unlikely. Trading Thomas to save money would not normally be conducive to remaining competitive for next season. Extending Thomas could also lower his 2018 cap hit and make it easier for them to add talent or to re-sign some of their impending free agents.


Senior Bowl Notebook: 15 prospects who made money this week - Dane Brugler, SportsDay
While the game was fun to watch, the real meat of the scouting comes from the practices. Dane Brugler provides 15 prospects who saw their stock rise this week, including a speedy receiver worth keeping an eye on.

6. James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

Washington was one of the prospects with the most to gain this week and Oklahoma State's all-time leading receiver didn't disappoint. Despite measuring a hair under 5-11, his 210-pound frame and 34-inch arms were positive numbers. And during individual drills, Washington showed improved releases and route-running to create separation with more than just speed. With all the talented wideouts in Mobile, Washington stood above the rest.

3 key prospects the Cowboys met with during Senior Bowl week - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
A familiar wide receiver's name continues to come up as a possible addition to the Cowboys come April. K.D. Drummond from Cowboys Wire talks about the WR from Oklahoma State:

Washington finished his college career with 39 touchdowns and a 19.8 yards per catch average. He had 14 touchdowns as a senior while hauling in 1,549 receiving yards on 74 receptions. In last season’s Alamo Bowl, he lit up current Cowboys CB Chidobe Awuzie and the Colorado Buffaloes defense to the tune of nine receptions for 171 yards and a score.

This season, Pro Football Focus credited him with an NCAA-high 17 deep pass receptions through mid-November and a 3.47 yards per route run average, good for fifth in the sport.

Cowboys will find quality depth at WR on Day 2 of draft; some names to keep in mind - Dane Brugler, SportsDay
Some fans are salivating over the possibility of drafting a WR in the first round. If the Cowboys don't go a different direction with pick 19, they should still have a shot at some quality prospects in the second round.

Q: Sure seems like the Cowboys will have a shot at a playmaking WR at pick No. 50 ... what do your WR prospect rankings look like as of now?

Brugler: Let's say that Calvin Ridley, Christian Kirk and Courtland Sutton all go in the first round. The second-round tier would include Maryland's DJ Moore, Memphis' Anthony Miller, and OKST's James Washington. After that, we're looking at E. St. Brown from Notre Dame, Michael Gallup from Colorado State and Dante Pettis from Washington. Plenty of quality depth on Day 2 at the receiver position.

2018 draft: 7 prospects who helped themselves in Senior Bowl - Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com
Who stood out in the Senior Bowl? Daniel Jeremiah gives us seven names to remember, including a pass rusher our own RJ Ochoa was high on earlier in the week.

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Davenport wasn't very effective in the first two days of practices here, and some people didn't really give him much of a chance to adjust to the environment at the Senior Bowl before criticizing him. He clearly needed that adjustment period because he was unstoppable late in the week of practices, and it carried over to the game. He recorded a half sack and scored a TD on a fumble recovery. His numbers might not jump off the page, but the North team had its hands full trying to slow him down.

The Cowboys are likely to get some help on the defensive line in this year’s draft, but where at exactly still remains to be seen.

Cowboys Must Help DT Maliek Collins Bounce Back in 2018 - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star
There has been a lot of talk about strengthening the Cowboys interior defensive line through the draft. With several intriguing prospects, the team could very well go that direction with their first-round pick. But if they select a DT, it should be a player to work alongside Maliek Collins and not in place of him. Jess Haynie explains.

Part of helping Maliek Collins get back to his rookie impact, if not better, will be finding a new player to occupy that 1-tech DT role. Collins is athletic and he needs to be put in the right situations to do what he does best.

Dallas needs to feel good about Collins going forward because they have some big decisions to make on that defensive line. Will they keep Tyrone Crawford for one more year or make him a salary cap casualty? How much will the spend to keep David Irving? How much will those decisions allow them to commit to re-signing DeMarcus Lawrence?

Some have suggested that the Cowboys could spend even their first-round draft pick in 2018 on a defensive tackle. That would not be illogical given all of these question marks.

If Dallas does draft a DT, it shouldn’t be a guy who pushes Collins to the side. They got a good one with that third-round pick, and now the Cowboys need to add complimentary pieces that will allow Maliek and their other young talents to progress in the roles they’re made to play.

DeMarcus Lawrence contract talks expected to begin next month - Jenna Laine, ESPN
The Cowboys young pass rushing star will be a top priority according to Executive Vice President Stephen Jones, and that makes DeMarcus Lawrence feel pretty good.

"It's great for them to prioritize me as being a Cowboy," said Lawrence, who's at the Pro Bowl in Orlando this week. "I'm not worried about it. I'm gonna let my agent worry about that part. ... I believe and trust in him 100 percent to get the job done."

Lawrence's agent, David Canter, also commented on the upcoming events surrounding Tank's contract negotiations.

"I would imagine that they're probably not just letting us get to free agency and leave Dallas," said Canter, who indicated that he has a good working relationship with the Cowboys' front office and expects conversations to be friendly.

"It's really up to them to want to do a deal that's in line with what the market is for a young, ascending, elite franchise-caliber defensive end," Canter said. "Whatever that number ends up being remains to be seen. But I do imagine and believe that we'll have multiple conversations over the next month or so. I think it's early right now."

3 Cowboys to Play in 2018 NFL Pro Bowl - Kevin Brady, Inside The Star
Cowboys fans will get a chance to see three of the team's players in action in tonight's Pro Bowl game.

Initially, four Cowboys players were selected to the Pro Bowl, each playing at the line of scrimmage. Due to injuries, both offensive tackle Tyron Smith and guard Zack Martin will not participate in the game, however. This left just center Travis Frederick and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to hold it down for Dallas in Orlando.

It was then announced that tight end Jason Witten would replace Eagles tight end Zach Ertz in the game, giving the Cowboys three active players altogether. This is quite the drop off from last year’s Pro Bowl, when the then 13-3 Cowboys sent seven players to the game after all alternates were named. Their coaching staff also led the NFC team in 2017, due to their divisional round defeat.

What's an iPhone? As Jason Witten appears in his 11th Pro Bowl, here is how much has changed since his first - Kristi Scales, SportsDay
So much has changed since 2005 when Jason Witten played in his first Pro Bowl.

The Dallas Cowboys and Pro Bowl roster were very, very different during Witten's first Pro Bowl. His Cowboys' teammates also in Honolulu included LaRoi Glover, Larry Allen, and Roy Williams (the safety, not the wide receiver). Michael Vick, Donovan McNabb and Daunte Culpepper were the NFC quarterbacks, and a future teammate of Witten's was catching passes that day as a member of the Eagles, Terrell Owens.

Remember Alge Crumpler? No? Well, that really is a person, not a character in Harry Potter. He was the other tight end on the NFC roster.

Mavs radio voice Cooperstein on the difference between Cowboys fans and Philadelphia Eagles fans - Barry Horn, SportsDay
Do you ever wonder why Eagles fans are always throwing stuff at people, even sourly tossing whatever they can find at the Minnesota Vikings bus as they were leaving. And this was following an Eagles victory. Some will label them rude, but as the Mavs radio voice, Chuck Cooperstein, explains - it's just a matter of them not knowing how to behave.

"The Cowboys fan expects the best and is devastated by anything less. The Eagles fan expects the worst, plans for it and then is over-the-moon happy when it doesn't happen."

Here's an example of what over-the-moon-happy looks like.