Earl Thomas, the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys have had an odd 14 or so months.
First, there was Thomas telling Jason Garrett to “come get me,” following the Seahawks win in Dallas in Week 16 of the 2017 season.
Then, an offseason full of trade rumors followed. Thomas wanted an extension and the Cowboys wanted Thomas, with trade talks beginning prior to the 2018 NFL Draft and continuing off and on until the start of the 2018 season.
Though those trade talks never went anywhere, with Dallas unwilling to meet Seattle’s asking price, the disrespect had been well noted by Thomas.
What happened next will be remembered as clearly as anything else from Thomas’s time with the Seahawks: Two interceptions against the Cowboys in Week 3, a bow towards their sideline, before a broken leg—complete with a middle finger towards Seattle’s sideline while being carted off—ended his season and almost certainly his time with the Seahawks in Week 4.
Dallas’s long pursuit of Thomas raises some eyebrows in the league office, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Friday morning that they had investigated the Cowboys for tampering, surrounding dialogue between Dallas coaches and Thomas prior to that Week 3 victory.
The NFL found no wrongdoing and the Cowboys won’t be disciplined by the league office, per Rapoport.
One piece of news that recently popped up and may be relevant when free agency arrives: Earlier in the fall, the NFL inquired into possible tampering by the #Cowboys regarding #Seahawks S Earl Thomas, sources say. The team cooperated fully, and the league found no wrongdoing.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 1, 2019
This stems from comments Dallas coaches may or may not have made pregame to Earl Thomas. The NFL looked into it and found nothing wrong. https://t.co/LL1OXcLkbU— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 1, 2019
Thomas will now hit free agency in just over a month, and Dallas will be free to go get him. There will be other suitors, likely the 49ers among others, but for over a year now, Thomas has made it clear where his heart is.