When Earl Thomas was released by the Ravens, it seemed like only a matter of time until he signed with the Cowboys. However, reports from Ian Rapoport on Tuesday morning indicated the Cowboys won’t be going after the All Pro safety.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday morning that while the Cowboys made some inquiries into Thomas, they are not expected to be among the teams vying for the former All-Pro safety’s services, per sources informed of the situation.
Coach Mike McCarthy has multiple times dismissed reports of the interest in Thomas. Monday, he cited satisfaction with his 80-man roster and the safety corps. Tuesday, McCarthy again dismissed any Thomas questions and spoke glowingly of safety Darian Thompson.
It’s also notable that McCarthy is close with Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider from their days in Green Bay together. It’s presumable that Schneider could have relayed to McCarthy any other issues the Seahawks had with Thomas in the safety’s waning years with the club.
Jerry Jones refutes reports that Cowboys have made a decision on Earl Thomas - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
While Ian Rapoport broke the news that the Cowboys would not be pursuing free agent safety Earl Thomas, Jerry Jones was quick to shoot that down on Tuesday while not exactly saying one way or the other if they were pursuing Thomas.
Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner and general manager, disputed the notion the Cowboys were rejecting signing Thomas, especially when told during a radio interview on KRLD-FM (105.3 FM) that a reporter from NFL Network said they were.
“Exactly. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Jones said of the reporter. “He has no idea what he’s talking about. The only one who knows that is me, and he’s standing right here.”
“I’ll tell you one of the biggest things that you weigh is the obvious, but it’s right, is you evaluate where we are at safety, where we are in the secondary, where we are with our numbers,” Jones said on KRLD-FM. “We have plans coming in to work potential guys that you might have on the depth chart as corners. So, a big part of where we are has to do with where we are.”
Ezekiel Elliott has been a reliable workhorse running back for the duration of his career, but the emergence of Tony Pollard has some wondering how well these two can coexist. According to Zeke, he’ll do whatever it takes to win.
“I mean, I’ve been pretty durable through my career. ... 300 carries every season ... haven’t seemed to be slowing down yet. But if they ever came to me and asked me to split carries, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna do whatever they ask me to do to win. That’s my number one thing. I love being the bell-cow. I love getting the rock 30 times a game. I do. But whatever this team needs me to do to win that’s what I’m gonna do.”’
In response to a tweet from ESPN’s Ed Werder who questioned how Elliott will pad the stats this season with Cooper’s “expectations” that the team will employ three 1,000 yard receivers, Elliott said in a tweet, “we are all gonna EAT. Don’t try to start that messy (crap).”
New Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy already has a plan for Elliott and he agreed with his running back’s sentiment. “First off, with Zeke, he’s going to get the football,” McCarthy said previously. “Let’s make no mistake about that.’’
Updates: Impressions Of The Current Safeties? - Nick Eatman, Rob Phillips, & David Helman, DallasCowboys.com
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was signed in the offseason with the idea for him to assume a starting safety role next to Xavier Woods, but through several practices it seems that Darian Thompson actually has the inside track for the job.
It remains to be seen if the Cowboys show interest in free agent Earl Thomas – Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones did not rule out that possibility Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan – but the team is currently focused on evaluating the safeties on the roster, including Xavier Woods, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Darian Thompson, whom head coach Mike McCarthy says is “having a great camp.”
“What I like is I like the flexibility that our guys give us,” McCarthy said. “I think a big part of this game is the ability to try to match up your players against your opponent. We have a number of guys that give us a lot of flexibility back there.
“I’m always looking at that group from a numbers standpoint because it’s a long year. I think ideally everybody wants to fill out their depth chart and put down 11 players. To me, that’s just not the way this league works. You need all those guys. And one of the things I look for from a job description standpoint is you want your players to be really good at more than one thing, whether it’s two or three things. Whether it be special teams, safety position, ability to come down and cover in the slot. To answer your question, I really like the flexibility that our guys give us.”
Greg Zuerlein’s practice results will give Cowboys fans something to celebrate - Mike Luciano, FanSided
The Cowboys’ instability at the kicker position cost them several games in 2019, and the team is hoping a rejuvenated Greg Zuerlein can change that this year. Based on his practice results, it looks like Greg the Leg is rediscovering his Pro Bowl form.
Zuerlein was an invaluable asset of Rams teams in both St. Louis and Los Angeles, as he and Johnny Hekker combined to form one of the league’s best special teams tandems. Sean McVay opted not to retain Zuerlein for 2020, however, and he landed on his feet with Mike McCarthy’s Dallas Cowboys. Ready to prove the doubters wrong, Zuerlein has been perfect at Cowboys camp, giving the team complete comfort and trust when discussing their special teams this season.
After missing nine field goals last year with the Rams, Zuerlein is out on a mission to reclaim his status as an elite kicker. He has made all 18 of his field goals in training camp, hitting from as far back as 46 yards in camp today.
Zuerlein might’ve missed nine field goals last season, but he is still one of the best kickers in the league when it comes to drilling long kicks. He has made 60 percent of his career field goals from 50 yards or farther back. After Cowboys fans suffered through the inconsistent Brett Maher in 2019, they replaced him with Kai Forbath, who made all 10 of his field goals.
Jerry Jones: It’s “absolutely fair” some teams will have fans and others won’t - Charean Williams, NBC Sports
Since the restrictions on for public gatherings vary by each state, some NFL teams are going to be able to have more fans than other teams this year, which some have criticized as offering an unfair advantage. Jerry Jones doesn’t see it that way.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and Bills coach Sean McDermott have taken issue with the lack of uniformity, with Zimmer calling it a “competitive disadvantage” and McDermott referring to it as “ridiculous.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sees it differently.
“Absolutely [it’s fair],” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday. “The benefit of crowds are important to sports. On the other hand, is it possible to have great games without it? You saw one the other night in basketball. But it’s fair. We’ve made up our minds that this thing isn’t going to be one way or the other, surely, about evening up everything that could be competitive. You’ve got to have to adapt to the virus. Attendance being one of them. And to the end that we can get fans enjoying these games with the experience similar to the thing they’ve become accustomed [to] is a big step in the right direction.”
Mike McCarthy was once the king of the land in Green Bay, Wisconsin, but he was fired before the end of the 2018 season and spent a year out of football. Now that he’s back with the Cowboys, he’s looking to make a big splash.
In other words, the Dallas Cowboys could have hired worse. And for all those dressing McCarthy as a “safe” pick or a “boring” pick, the current 2020 training camp is saying otherwise. The ‘Boys are back, and yes, finally, the window dressing is different.
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