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Cowboys news: Chatter grows about Cowboys possibly pursuing Earl Thomas

With Dez Bryant’s money, are the Cowboys going to go after Earl Thomas?

Seattle Seahawks v Green Bay Packers Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Clayton: Chance Seahawks trade Earl Thomas ‘more like 50 percent’ with Dez Bryant gone - Stacy Rost, 710 ESPN Seattle

John Clayton was on Seattle radio after the Cowboys cut Dez Bryant, and he thinks that it’s 50/50 the Cowboys acquire Earl Thomas in a trade.

“The fact that they did this today gives me now – I’ve been saying now all along that there’s probably five or 10 percent chance that they would trade Earl Thomas. I think this now takes it to 50 percent,” Clayton said. “I think this really increases the chances of an Earl Thomas trade.

“And here’s the reason I say that: We know that Arizona is pretty much looking for one now that they’ve let Tyrann Mathieu go. But you know the Seahawks aren’t trading him to a division team, so I take that option out. And Mathieu goes to another team desperate for free safeties in Houston. So you’ve got a couple other teams involved, but it really came down to one team, and that’s the Dallas Cowboys. The team that Earl Thomas went over to at the end of the game and yelled for Jason Garrett to come get him at some point. And so now I think the chances increase.”

Analysis: Could Cowboys’ release of Dez Bryant increase chance of trade for Seahawks’ Earl Thomas? - Bob Condotta, Seattle Times

The papers up in Seattle are talking about it.

But one thought is that the Cowboys weren’t going to want to add another potential $12 million-$14 million salary or so (what Thomas would likely want in an extension) while they still had two years left of Bryant at $16.5 million.

But now Bryant and his salary are gone, making it easier to fit in Thomas —- the Cowboys would undoubtedly want to make a trade only if they knew they could work out a contract extension for Thomas, whose deal runs out following the 2018 season.

Mike Fisher was asked the question on Twitter and gave an affirmative yup, he thinks the Cowboys will pursue Thomas.

Could the release of Dez Bryant open the door for Earl Thomas or D.J. Moore to join the Cowboys? - DannyPhantom, BTB

Big props to our own DannyPhantom who was on this topic yesterday.

So what are the Cowboys going to do with that $25 million? The team must have a plan and that plan must be more enticing that having Bryant on the roster for the next two seasons. It’s very possible the Cowboys have someone lined up for that money. Is it Earl Thomas? In the blink of an eye, the team can now afford to pay Thomas should they work out a trade with Seattle. In order to bring Thomas aboard, the team would have to feel confident they’d be able to sign him to a high-priced salary that he’d demand in an extension. Without Bryant’s money on the books, they’d be able to take on a contract like that. Both Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott’s contract will be up in a couple years, so the team has to be judicious about how they spread out their cap resources.

Where the Cowboys stand at receiver without Dez Bryant - Todd Archer, ESPN

Todd Archer brings up a point many have been trying to get across about the release of Dez Bryant.

By cutting Bryant, the Cowboys showed they believe they won’t have to replace the receiver who caught 41 touchdown passes from 2012-14, but rather the receiver who caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 2017.

The Cowboys currently have eight receivers on the roster, but only two (Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley) have caught more than six passes in a season wearing the star on their helmet.

They did add a pretty competent receiver in free agency. Which leads me to a point that I’ve been pushing ever since the signing of Allen Hurns.

Nothing personal, Dez: Jerry Jones’ move was all business, plain and simple - Kevin Sherrington, DMN

Stephen’s message to Dez was the same as the philosophy employed by Don Shula, via our old pal Babe Laufenberg: “We will put up with you until we can replace you.”

The Cowboys were trying to replace Dez before Friday’s news. They showed their hand by going after Sammy Watkins, then signing Allen Hurns.

For all the arguments about whether Hurns is a No. 1, consider his statistics over the last three seasons and their remarkable similarity to the recently departed’s. If Hurns isn’t a No. 1, neither is Dez. And the Cowboys got Hurns at half the price.

Hurns isn’t the receiver Bryant was from 2012 to 2014, but he’s been every bit the receiver Bryant has been over the last three years.

Who’s to blame for the late Dez Bryant release? - Mike Florio, PFT

Mike Florio blames both sides for the late release of Dez Bryant.

So who’s the blame for the fact that Dez became a free agent on April 13? The short answer: Both sides.

So why not cut him earlier? Having Dez on the roster likely made it easier to sign Allen Hurns. Putting it another way, if Dez had been cut before Hurns had signed, Hurns would have had more leverage in his negotiations with the Cowboys.

From Bryant’s perspective, two specific things could have been done to ensure a more timely release. When he signed his contract three years ago, Bryant (via his agent) could have insisted on a term that, for example, would have made his 2018 salary fully guaranteed on the third day of the league year. (Another possibility would have been shifting part of the $12.5 million to a significant roster bonus due shortly after March 14.)

Is LSU WR D.J. Chark a realistic option for the Cowboys? - Jon Machota, DMN

Without Dez, the talk of which wide receiver the Cowboys may draft is ramping up.

Machota: I think Chark would be a great fit. The problem with him and some other receivers like Courtland Sutton is that it’s unlikely the Cowboys would take them at 19, but there’s little to no chance that they fall to 50. I guess the ideal scenario would be to find a trade partner, move back to grab one of the receivers and then gain an extra pick in the process.

NFL draft preview: Which wide receivers could Dallas now target after parting ways with Dez Bryant? - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout

Brugler is very clear, he believes that Calvin Ridley is the best receiver in this draft at this point in their careers.

While it hurt his production, an inaccurate quarterback helped his evaluation because it forced Ridley to consistently bail out poor throws. He is electric and elusive in his movements to create his own separation and threaten the defense after the catch. He is a dynamic, yet composed route runner with savvy and explosiveness reminiscent of Stefon Diggs.

But he also thinks Courtland Sutton has a potentially higher ceiling.

If there is one wide receiver in the 2018 draft class who has the potential to be a team’s No. 1, Sutton is the guy. At 6-3 and 218 pounds, he is a fluid athlete with intriguing strength, but his route running and mechanics getting in and out of his breaks require improvement if he is going to beat NFL coverage.

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