Former Super Bowl champions Reggie Wayne and Shaun O’Hara recently discussed Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas on the NFL Network’s Total Access and whether the Cowboys would be a good fit if the Seahawks should trade him. Here are some highlights:
Reggie Wayne: If I am the Dallas Cowboys, I am just champing at the bit right now. Just the thought process of Earl Thomas actually playing on this defense. Just his winning mentality, his wisdom, his leadership on a defense if you look at paper from last year that seems to be playing better than it did the year before. It is awesome.
When you talk about a quarterback on defense, that’s Earl Thomas. He’s like a Ed Reid or Troy Polamalu back there. Getting guys aligned and making plays. This will be a big addition to this Dallas Cowboys defense.
Shaun O’Hara: When I watch him run, I kind of think of the Tasmanian Devil. He’s just just a cloud of dust. When you look at that position, that free safety position, it’s can he cover ground and can he read quarterbacks and bait them? Earl Thomas has done a great job of that.
I think for the Dallas Cowboys this definitely adds that veteran aspect to this defense and it’s kind of what they’ve been looking for. Obviously they’ve struggled to get after the quarterback the last couple of years, but with DeMarcus Lawrence up front, I think this could be big for them.
The question really is, how much can they afford to pay him. It’s a one year left on his contract so are you willing to make Earl Thomas one of the highest paid safeties in the league this late in his career? I don’t know if the Cowboys are ready to do that.
Host Lindsay Rhodes: That depends on how many years you think he has left playing at that level.
Wayne: I think he has quite a few years left in him. He’s not a young kid running out there, but he’s still one of the elite safeties remaining out there.
Right now, there’s a bunch of safeties in free agency that’s still looking for a job. Earl Thomas, if he was a free agent, he wouldn’t be looking for a job. There’d be a bunch of teams that’s trying to sign him.
O’Hara: The one other thing I would throw on there is different defense. He’s excelled at the cover-three style defense in Seattle because he had Kam Chancellor that could come down and kind of be the run defender. He might look a little bit different in a totally different scheme.
Rhodes: What about the Seahawks? They’re obviously already rebuilding, the defense in particular. He only has one year left on his contract. Is this the right time to turn the page on Thomas, too.
Wayne: It would be surprising if the Seattle Seahawks would want to trade Earl Thomas to a team in the NFC like a Dallas, when they also play Dallas this year on their schedule.
You normally would want to trade a guy of his caliber to the AFC instead of the NFC because you don’t want to have a chance of facing him along the season. That would be surprising if they do that.