Immediately upon Earl Thomas' release from Baltimore, eyes turned to Dallas.
The Cowboys have long been linked to adding the former All-Pro safety. Since Thomas told then-coach Jason Garrett, "If y'all have the chance, come get me," on Dec. 24, 2017, the rumors have persisted. Even when Baltimore signed Thomas to a big-money deal last offseason, the links remained.
Garrett is no longer in the building to "come get" Thomas now that he's once again a free agent. The man in that chair is Mike McCarthy.
The new Cowboys coach said Monday morning that while he's had discussions about Thomas with VP of player personnel Will McClay, the Cowboys are happy with their current roster and safety position.
"The conversations I've been involved with -- we had a chance to get a thorough personnel meeting just two days ago -- we're very confident in where we are as far as the 80-man roster," McCarthy said. "As far as any prospect that's available, those are more conversations for Jerry (Jones), Stephen (Jones) and Will McClay, as far as looking at that situation. So I have nothing really to report."
McCarthy didn't dismiss that his team has been linked to Thomas and is on top of the most likely teams to sign the seven-time Pro Bowler. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the 49ers and Texans are also involved along with Dallas.
"I've talked to both (Jerry and Stephen) about it. We talk about everything," he said. "We read the news too. You may not think we read your guys' articles or stay on top of things. We look at every situation. Player acquisition is 365 days a year."
The Cowboys currently have Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Xavier Woods slated as the starting safeties. Adding a player like Thomas could certainly upgrade the unit, especially if the 31-year-old is motivated to prove he's not washed.
One of the biggest questions is how Thomas would fit in the locker room after Ravens veterans reportedly sided with Chuck Clark in the squabble that ultimately led to Thomas' release.
The locker-room question is one that McCarthy focuses on.
"Everything is looked at at the end of the day," he said. "I think the most important question you need to ask at the end of the day is how does the player fit into the locker room? To me, that's usually the huge determining factor if it happens or it doesn't happen. Just like anything in this business, there has to be a mutual understanding to bring those things together. At the end of the day, as the head coach, my focus is on our current locker room."
McCarthy's comments underscore what every team considering adding Thomas must consider. Is Thomas still the playmaker he was in Seattle? And would adding him to the locker room be beneficial to our club?
The answer to those questions might determine where Thomas lands -- and for how much dinero -- in 2020.