in

Does Clinton-Dix cut put Earl Thomas in play? Stephen Jones ‘wouldn’t rule anything out’

The news came as a surprise to many in Cowboys Nation. HaHa Clinton-Dix, the former Packers/McCarthy-era safety who was expected to bring veteran leadership to the back end of the Dallas defense, was unceremoniously cut just ten days before the season opener.

But arguably, the bigger surprise for some came when that roster move wasn’t immediately followed up by an announcement that the club was in talks with Earl Thomas to take over that newly-vacated locker. While Cowboys ownership says they will “look at all avenues” at the safety position, the release of Clinton-Dix does create a sense that the team may be woefully thin in the secondary.

Speaking on Dallas radio with 105.3 The Fan, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones gave no indication that signing Thomas is on the front office’s weekend to-do list. But he didn’t slam the door on the idea, either.

“We’re certainly going to look at all avenues as we move forward here and I wouldn’t rule anything out,” Jones said, according to the team website. “We’re just down there working with [vice president of player personnel] Will [McClay] and our pro scouting department as well as our coaches in trying to figure out what our next steps might be here.”

The most logical next step has seemed to be Thomas, the seven-time Pro Bowl safety who has been widely linked to his hometown Cowboys for close to two years. The longtime Seahawk was released by the Baltimore Ravens after just one season and has been unemployed for nearly two weeks.

Now with the sudden thinning of the herd at safety in Dallas just as a promising season is about to begin, the calls to slap a star on Thomas’s helmet have never been louder.

Other league insiders, though, started downplaying any potential move to sign Thomas within minutes of the news that Clinton-Dix had been dismissed.

The Cowboys profess to be pleased with their defensive backs under new coordinator Mike Nolan and position coaches Al Harris and Maurice Linguist. Darian Thompson reportedly had an exceptional training camp and looks to have earned the starting nod opposite Xavier Woods in the wake of Clinton-Dix’s release.

But Woods has been dinged up, causing even more uncertainty barely a week before the team’s opener against the Rams. The coaching staff has been preaching positional flexibility to its players; that model may be tested early as cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and newcomer Reggie Robinson may find themselves fulfilling safety duties out of necessity and leaving the corner slots to Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and highly-touted rookie Trevon Diggs.

“CeeDee Lamb might be Randy Moss, and Zeke might run for 2,000 yards, but they’re going to give up 50 points [a game] unless these guys can play,” said Good Morning Football host Kyle Brandt on Friday while looking at a listing of the current Cowboys secondary.

The team lists just three true safeties with the Clinton-Dix release. The oldest of them is 26. Of the ten listed cornerbacks, the average age is 24.7. The DB group as a whole is young and green.

“I would just call this out now,” Brandt continued. “On Monday, most of the country is not going to work. Good for them. Today and tomorrow, you know who’s not working? Earl Thomas. This is a different conversation now. If you didn’t want to get in the Jamal Adams business, that’s fine. It would have been very expensive and a whole different deal. Earl Thomas can maybe help you immediately. It goes from being a luxury of a good player to a necessity that, ‘I don’t know if we have enough talent on our back end to go toe-for-toe with some of these teams, starting with the Rams.’ If you know Earl is super-super-thirsty to play in Dallas, make him an offer. Low-ball him. See how much he wants to play in Dallas. I was okay on the thing before; now they need it. That is a striking fullscreen about America’s Team. ‘That’s the best we got?’ That makes me really worried.”

Despite whatever personality issues sent Thomas packing from both Seattle and Baltimore within the last 17 months, he’s a veteran player who could conceivably provide leadership on the field, and certainly still has the physical tools to contribute.

But Jones played it close to the vest when specifically asked about the former Legion of Boom star.

“As I always say, we’re always in the market 365 days a year to improve this football team, and that’s what we’ll we’ll continue to do,” Jones said.



Source link

Leeds now area of concern as local lockdown restrictions loom

Yorkshire jobseeker, 63, wears suit and hands out CVs at station