Dallas Cowboys: What Earl Thomas would bring to Big D
The Dallas Cowboys defense is only a few pieces away from Super Bowl caliber. What does Earl Thomas III bring that the team doesn’t already have?
The Dallas Cowboys have been rumored to be in talks for Seattle Seahawk safety Earl Thomas III since the beginning of the offseason. While fan and media opinions have differed, the team’s struggles recently and Seattle’s high asking price have made Cowboys nation weary of this transaction.
It seems now more than ever this team needs to hold on to its draft picks and assets. But through the first three weeks of the season, it has been quite evident that Thomas is the missing piece to a Super Bowl caliber defense.
Through three weeks, the Cowboys have no interceptions and two fumble recoveries. While the defense has been one of the best in terms of total yardage, points, sacks, and pressures; they have exhibited a classic lack of turnovers this season.
In order to become a dominant defense, not only do you have to do the things the Cowboys are doing now; but also change momentum and win games by creating turnovers. Giving your offense short fields, taking a stadium out of a game, and scoring points on defense are what separates good defenses from elite ones. Pass deflections and pressures are not enough.
Thomas himself has three interceptions this year and a forced fumble called back via penalty. That’s three times the interceptions this secondary has now. While cornerback Byron Jones has shown he’s an elite cover corner, he’s always lacked ball-skills. On the other side, Chidobe Awuzie has a lot of potential but is still growing. Safety Jeff Heath is the only member of the secondary that has a knack for turnovers, but he cannot do it alone.
Imagine what an interception against Seattle Week 3 might have done for a team struggling on offense. This team looks to be far from Super Bowl contention, but acquiring Thomas would make the defense ready for a run. With an offseason draft class focused on the offense and cap room for one proven offensive weapon, the Cowboys have the capability to upgrade the offense in one summer. Especially if a new coaching staff was brought into town.
While Thomas doesn’t solve all this team’s problems, he does automatically assume the leadership void soon to be left by linebacker Sean Lee. He would make this defense with an already ferocious pass rush a turnover machine and top three overall unit. This franchise needs stars to win, let’s make Earl the next one in Big D.