Cowboys won’t break bank in free agency, even for Thomas

Yes, the Cowboys would love to have Earl Thomas. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have tried to trade for him last year.

But Thomas wants to become the league’s highest-paid safety at more than $13 million a year. And he reportedly won’t give the Cowboys a hometown discount despite wanting to play for the Cowboys after playing his high school and college football in the state of Texas.

Thomas’ price would have to come down for the Cowboys to get involved, according to sources. That isn’t likely with Thomas expected to get a big deal on the open market as one of the league’s top free agents.

The Cowboys’ recent modus operandi is to shop for free agents after the first wave. They haven’t made a splash in free agency since 2012 when they signed cornerback Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50.1 million deal.

So signing Thomas or any other big-name free agent would be out of character.

The safety market could have a lot to offer for patient teams, with so many experienced free agents at the position. Landon Collins, Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, Adrian Amos and Lamarcus Joyner are among the first 17 names on PFT’s top-100 free agent list. Clayton Geathers, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Glover Quin, Kenny Vaccaro, George Iloka and Tre Boston are the others in the top 100.

The other consideration for the Cowboys is they have so many contracts with their own players to get done.

The Cowboys used the franchise tag on defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence but hope to sign him to a long-term deal. Dallas also will have to extend the deals of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and Byron Jones in the near term to lock them up long term.

So any big-name, big-money free agent likely finds more money elsewhere.