The Dallas Cowboys met with Earl Thomas' reps this week at the NFL Scouting Combine to gauge what the impending free agent is looking for financially, The Athletic's Calvin Watkins reports, citing a source.
Thomas, who's spent his entire nine-year career with the Seattle Seahawks, won't officially become a free agent until March 13. But with contract issues seemingly deteriorating the relationship between player and team over the past two seasons, it's widely expected he will test the market.
The 29-year-old's hometown Cowboys have long been considered a logical, if not inevitable, suitor as free agency approaches. Thomas first made waves on this front back in 2017 when he ran to the Cowboys' locker room after a game in Dallas and told head coach Jason Garrett, "If you have a chance to get me, come get me."
Dallas was also thought to be talking to the Seahawks about a trade at multiple points in 2018, but Seattle's asking price, reportedly having rejected a second-round pick, evidently proved prohibitive.
Though looming extensions for Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and DeMarcus Lawrence could conceivably limit the Cowboys' financial flexibility looking to the future, this week's meeting would appear to suggest that significant interest remains.
Richard Sherman, a longtime teammate of Thomas in Seattle, suggested Wednesday that the Cowboys are the preferred destination and any team hoping to sign the superstar safety would have to put forth a better offer.
"If the money's equal, if all things are equal, he's going to Dallas," Sherman said Wednesday, according to Gregg Bell of The Sacramento Bee. "Now if that (compensation is) not the same, there's more of a discussion, more of a fight. But then it becomes a bidding war. But that's up to people (who) make more major decisions than I."
Thomas has started 125 games for the Seahawks after joining the team as a first-round pick in 2010, recording 28 interceptions over that stretch while earning six Pro Bowl appearances.