The Cowboys had significant interest in acquiring Earl Thomas around the draft, but Dallas needs to refrain from using its remaining cap space on him now.
Earl Thomas would certainly represent a clear upgrade over the Cowboys’ current options at safety. They also have the cap space to offer the 29-year-old a new contract. That doesn’t mean it’s the best use of resources for Dallas at the moment.
The news that Thomas is going to hold out in Seattle until he gets a new contract will obviously spark rumors about potential trades involving the talented safety. The Cowboys, in particular, will be linked with him heavily. They were, after all, interested in acquiring him around the NFL Draft.
In the end, the two teams couldn’t agree on a fair price and Thomas remained a Seahawk. The Cowboys should keep it that way. Even though their options at safety are still pretty thin, acquiring Thomas would cost the team too much.
Obviously, Dallas would likely need to give up a draft pick to acquire his services. The Seahawks were reportedly looking for a first-round pick on draft day, but it’s logical to assume their demands have dropped since then. The Cowboys might be able to get away with a third rounder to make things work. That’s still too much to give up for a safety who’s going to require a massive contract.
Even if the draft compensation wasn’t an issue, the pure finances of satisfying Thomas should keep the Cowboys from doing a deal. They currently have just over $11 million left in cap space for 2018. That might be enough to satisfy Thomas in year one. It does not, however, account for the team’s desperate need to ink Zack Martin to a new deal.
The four-time Pro Bowler is patiently waiting his new deal from the Cowboys. In the current landscape of the NFL, guard is a much more valuable position than safety. The current availability of Tre Boston and Kenny Vaccaro speaks to that truth. Dallas can find a quality safety on the cheap. In sharp contrast, it would cost the team a fortune to come anywhere close to replacing Martin’s production on the offensive line.
Making a trade for Thomas would make a lot of Cowboys fans happy in the short-term, but it would cost Dallas dearly over the long haul. The team needs to focus its resources on making Zack Martin happy instead. Having great safety play is a luxury while having a good offensive line is a matter of survival.