I was kicking this question around the other night when I first saw that former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Zach Thomas had decided to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs.
I even texted my buddy The Landry Hat, saying that I had lost a lot of respect for Thomas.
But then I sat and really thought about it.
Thomas is moving to a defense that could impress a few folks next year. In addition to Thomas, new Chiefs GM Scott Pioli has brought in fellow ex-Patriot Mike Vrabel to help on the outside. Also, both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are projecting Pioli to select with the third overall pick Wake Forest’s Aaron Curry, the highest rated player in the draft according to Scouts Inc. Add that to a defense with young stars like former top-pick Glenn Dorsey and Virginia Tech standout Brandon Flowers, and you’re looking at a unit that should be taking a huge step up.
Also, don’t take the addition of Matt Cassel too lightly. I’ve heard a lot of people downplaying this pickup because of the strength of the Patriots’ offensive line. Sure, the Chiefs’ offensive line can’t really compare, but there aren’t many pass rushing threats in the AFC West. I count one currently in Shawne Merriman. What we’re going to see from the Chiefs offense is a much more balanced offense, with Cassel making full use of Dwayne Bowe (which has yet to be done in Kansas City) and Tony Gonzales. The only real question mark is whether or not the Chiefs can get good production out of Jamaal Charles.
So is Zach Thomas’ move a bad one?
It depends. If he only has one year left in the tank, then Kansas City is certainly a long shot. But don’t be surprised if Thomas has two more years left in him. The Chiefs could be legitimate contenders in the AFC West if Pioli can pull off the same kind of personnel management that he did in New England.
But will the Kansas City Chiefs be better off than the Dallas Cowboys in two years’ time?
They play in a much easier division, but I think it’ll be 2-3 years before they’re legitimate contenders within the AFC. If you read this blog, you probably think that the Cowboys are legitimate contenders right now. I think that Thomas had a better chance of winning a ring had he stayed in Dallas, but a ring during his stay in Kansas City isn’t completely out of the question.