Earl Thomas has long wanted to play for the Dallas Cowboys. The feeling apparently is not mutual.
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.
The Cowboys have been the top speculated team since the Baltimore Ravens cut Thomas over the weekend citing conduct detrimental.
Thomas once told former Dallas coach Jason Garrett to "come get me." Now twice the Cowboys have said no when they had the chance to sign the seven-time Pro Bowler.
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.
Speaking on 105.3 The Fan Tuesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones disputed Rapoport's report saying he still left the door open to the possibility of bringing in Thomas.
"One of the biggest things that you weigh, it's 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. "A big part of where we are has to do with where we are. As you know this year, we're going to have limited time as far as our evaluation is concerned. These decisions, like the one you're talking about with Earl, they're never served up like a softball. They always come in with a little hair on it, a lot of different ways. … I haven't met personally with Earl, I don't think any of us has, but that would probably be a next step, if we're at a point where we can sit there and activate this thing."
Jones gave no indication when or if the Cowboys would activate talks with Thomas. The owner simply left the door ajar (perhaps if the price tag falls precipitously or injury strikes), without saying the team is unequivocally interested. Jones, however, echoed McCarthy's notes about the safety position.
"We're weighing not only where we are on the roster," Jones continued. "A big part of this decision is where we are on our roster right now. It seems elementary, but that's a big part in this. Like all of these kinds of decisions, it never comes at you real soft. In all of that, this is one that of course we had the hopper for years and years, it seems like, so we know the player. We've got a good read, everybody in the league does. So we know where he is skill-wise and where he is at this part of his career. All of those go into consideration. A lot of things to put in the hopper and then I'll make a decision."
Rapoport previously reported that Houston and San Francisco were also considering signing Thomas.
The Cowboys bowing out of contention undercuts Thomas' market in a big way. It also adds another element to the off-field issues that ended his stint in Baltimore, which included being late to meetings over the past year. If Jerry Jones doesn't want anything to do with Thomas, which team will take a shot?