NFL Notes: Earl Thomas, Dez Bryant, Kickoffs


Earl Thomas

Ian Rapoport reports that the Cowboys balked at the idea of parting with their second-round pick in a potential trade for Seahawks S Earl Thomas.

Rapoport added that it’s possible that Dallas could have still worked out a deal for Thomas centered around their third-round pick “and a lot more” but their refusal to include the No. 50 overall pick scuttled the deal.

  • Shan Shariff reports that the Cowboys offered their third-round pick to Seattle for Thomas, but Dallas ultimately turned in the pick for WR Michael Gallup when they didn’t hear back from the Seahawks.

Dez Bryant

Cowboys director of player personnel Will McClay mentioned during an interview with ESPN 103.3 on Tuesday that WR Dez Bryant‘s inability to win one-on-one and down the field contributed to the team’s decision to release him last month.

“It was a collective deal,” McClay said, via the Star-Telegram. “The (inability) to win one-on-one, to win down field. There was inconsistency as well as some huge things in his play. So what’s best moving forward for Dez Bryant the Cowboys, we just made that decision. It’s a production-based business.”

McClay referred to Bryant as one of the all-time greats and a future Hall of Famer, but admitted that they had to do what was best for the team moving forward.

You have to make a decision to make sure you succeed and hold that trophy up,” McClay said.


  • The kickoff proposal being considered by the competition committee will likely eliminate the two-man wedge, prevent kicking teams from having a running start, and only allow three players to be deep. (Judy Batista)
  • Packers president Mark Murphy, who is a member of the competition committee, expects the rules to be evaluated season to season. Murphys added that there’s a “short leash” to see if new rules reduce injuries before considering eliminating the kickoff entirely. (Judy Batista)
  • The proposal will incorporate some ideas proposed by special teams coaches, but will not include the suggestion from coaches to have the ball placed at the 20-yard line instead of the 25 for a kickoff that goes through the uprights. (Mark Maske)
  • The competition committee’s kickoff proposal would require that the receiving team have at least eight players lined up 15 yards from the spot of the kickoff and prevent any hitting within that 15-yard zone. The idea here is to make the kickoff more like punt returns in terms of blocking and hitting. (Mark Maske)
  • The competition committee still has to finish the specific language the proposed kickoff rule, but the intention is for it to be done in time for owners to vote on later this month and be implemented for the 2018 season. (Judy Batista)
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