Unless you live under a rock, you most likely have heard the news that LeBron James is leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the bright lights of Hollywood to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. The game’s best and most polarizing player will be playing for the league’s most famous and polarizing franchise.
Most would agree that the three biggest and most popular franchises across the three major American sports are as followed: The Dallas Cowboys in football, the Los Angeles Lakers in basketball, and the New York Yankees in baseball. The latter two both acquired elite stars in their respective sport recently — the Lakers inked LeBron and the Yankees traded for Giancarlo Stanton in a blockbuster move this past December.
The Cowboys, though, have not made a groundbreaking acquisition.
Some of that is because the front office has moved on from taking big risks and instead like to draft and develop their own talent. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott were both selected in the 2016 NFL Draft and are two of the brightest young stars in the sport due to electrifying rookie campaigns.
Some of it is also because it’s simply harder to make that kind of move in the NFL. Salaries are different and blockbuster trades rarely happen.
If there is a big and splashy move that Dallas has reportedly been interested in, it would be making a trade for All-Pro safety Earl Thomas, one of the elite defensive talents in the National Football League. It’s been widely reported what Thomas told Jason Garrett following the Cowboys’ week 16 loss to the Seahawks. “Come get me”, the Pro Bowler told the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
Earl Thomas went into Cowboys locker room to talk with Dez. Earl to Garrett: “If y’all have the chance, come get me.” pic.twitter.com/RiGkHB1JsX— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 25, 2017
Following the season, it was reported that the former Texas Longhorns star would be willing to holdout in order to get a new contact, as he does not want to play the 2018 season without a long-term deal in place. Then, back around the draft, there was speculation that the Seahawks and Cowboys would agree to a trade to send the star safety back to the Lone Star State.
The 81st overall pick wasn’t enough to get Seattle to dance, and hey that’s understandable. They had their sights set on more, they wanted a second-rounder, namely pick #50.
In fact, Seattle wanted that pick so badly that they called the Cowboys. How do we know this? First of all, it’s common sense. Second of all, the mothership’s Bryan Broaddus and Ambar Garcia told us on Tuesday afternoon (discussion starts right before the three-minute mark).
Broaddus goes into detail specifically in terms of second-round pick Connor Williams and how he ties into all of this:
“Let me give you a little insight here... If Connor Williams wasn’t on the board at 50, they would have traded that pick for your safety. For Earl Thomas. The Seahawks called they said, ‘Hey, are you interested in the player?’ and the Cowboys made the determination that Connor Williams meant so much to them that they said no.”
The Cowboys decided to take Connor Williams in the second round, getting another potential quality starter along the Great Wall of Dallas. Because of that, many assumed that the two parties moved on and that a deal would no longer happen.
Then, Legion of Boom member Kam Chancellor all-but-announced his retirement on Sunday evening, putting a twist on things.
The retirement is not official just yet, but it certainly reads as if Chancellor is ready to hang his cleats up and get to the next chapter of his life. Our own RJ Ochoa addressed what that move could mean. On one hand, maybe this makes the Seahawks more likely to hold onto their All-Pro free safety. On the other, this could make the Seahawks want to hit the reset button and ship the last member of the LOB out of town.
Seattle is in a division with some serious up-and-comers. The Los Angeles Rams are the favorites to win the NFC West (they added plenty of stars over the offseason) and the San Francisco 49ers are expected to take the next step in Jimmy Garoppolo’s first season in the Bay Area.
Nobody ever wants to, but Seattle might be mature enough to accept that it just isn’t in the cards for 2018. It’s true that anything is possible, but it stands to reason that the Seahawks are looking at a steep uphill climb this season.
There’s already a large level of logic to trading away Earl Thomas for the Seahawks. For one, he’s holding out and wants a new deal that they don’t want to give him. Secondly, it doesn’t seem like Seattle is going to pay him and his deal is up next offseason. Why not cash out now for whatever you can instead of being left hanging a year from now after a year of simply treading water?
The Cowboys already have a connection to Earl Thomas in Kris Richard, the architect of the elite defensive back unit that featured the likes of Thomas, Chancellor, and Richard Sherman. Plus, earlier this month, Thomas said that he will indeed be holding out until his “contract situation is resolved”.
Does this mean that a trade is going to happen? No. Or that there is even a realistic chance of it occurring? Nope. But it is still worth mentioning because of all of the surrounding factors — the holdout and contract, Kris Richard, the departures of Sherman and, likely, Chancellor, playing in his home state, etc.
Could the Dallas Cowboys join the other two iconic American sports franchises and acquire a big name? If so, depending on what America’s Team would have to give up, Earl Thomas could be the guy to help the Cowboys reach the next level.