Never say never with Jerry Jones.
The outspoken owner is pushing back against NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport to refute a report that the Cowboys are “not expected” to make a run for seven-time Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas III.
“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Jones said on Tuesday during his weekly appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, via Jeff Cavanaugh. “He has no idea what he’s talking about.”
Thomas, 31, was dumped by the Ravens on Sunday after a melee with teammate Chuck Clark. The former first-rounder allegedly threw punches at Clark on Friday and was released before the second season of his four-year, $55 million contract.
The Cowboys — who also pursued former Jets safety Jamal Adams — were the fast favorites to land Thomas shortly after his release, as first reported by ESPN. Rapoport, however, quelled the rumors on Tuesday and characterized the team’s interest as more tepid than initially reported.
“While the #Cowboys made some inquiries, they are not expected to be among the teams vying for Thomas’ services, sources say,” the NFL insider wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning. “So the Dallas/Thomas love affair ends here. 😢.”
Jones’ denial was resolute, but Rapoport aptly noted that the savvy 77-year-old has feigned ignorance in the past about personnel so as to not tip the team’s hand, specifically describing a similar situation with franchise-tagged quarterback Dak Prescott.
“Gotta love Jerry Jones… who said the same thing — ‘He has no idea’ — when I reported midway through the season that Dak was going to get franchise tagged 🤷🏻♂️,” the seasoned reporter wrote on Twitter in a quote tweet. “Anyway, Dallas has had some talks about Earl Thomas, has not made an offer, and there is no expectation they will.”
While Thomas’ punch-throwing incident was the official breaking point for the Ravens, his relationship with teammates and the front office had begun to fray long before this weekend. He came under fire in April for not disclosing a domestic dispute in which his wife held him at gunpoint after catching him in bed with another woman and Pro Football Talk’s Peter King reported on Monday that he “was not well-liked by his teammates” and they “are not on Thomas’ side.”
Thomas is still regarded as one of the league’s top defensive backs, but the prospect of signing him on the heels of his second sour ending in just over a year would carry risk to which many teams seem increasingly averse (see: out-of-work receiver Antonio Brown). He is expected to file a grievance with the NFL Players Association for the salary remaining on his contract, $10 million of which is owed this season.
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