Finding ways to improve their offensive line has been quite an issue for the Dallas Cowboys over the last couple of years, feeling that not giving Tony Romo the right kind of protection has been the major stumbling block from making the playoffs. Going after Donald Thomas of the New England Patriots might be a solution.
Another problem the Cowboys are facing is their salary cap issue, although negotiations in recent weeks have already taken off quite a lot of that problem – First the Cowboys reworked their contract with DeMarcus Ware, allowing them to reduce the hit they’re taking by $4 million. They’ve also restructured their deal with Jason Witten, allowing them to shave a further $3.65 million off their cap.
Next? Jay Ratliff, cornerback Orlando Scandrick and linebacker Dan Connor, who might be released if he doesn’t comply to taking a salary cut for the upcoming season. Tony Romo, who’ll be making $16.8 million next season if nothing is changed, is being left till the end, projected to be the most difficult one to maneuver.
Even if the Cowboys do succeed in all their contract restructuring (about 12 contracts), they still won’t have much wiggle room to add free agents into the mix, which means they’ll need to look for the affordable options, like Donald Thomas from the Patriots. Thomas, a sixth round draft pick, is considered to be one of the better backup guards in the NFL, and might show more than that if he’s given the opportunity. Thomas plays behind Mankins and Connoly in New England, and won’t cost a fortune to sign in the upcoming free agency window.
Thomas is an effective run-blocker who also would improve the Cowboys’ protection of Romo. He’s a smart, developing interior linemen who also offers value as an emergency center. The Cowboys have other players they want to re-sign, mostly Anthony Spencer, but Thomas brings something to the table the Cowboys dearly missed last season, which is giving Tony Romo confidence in the offensive line in front of him to allow him to make the best throws and decisions possible.