Cowboys need Earl Thomas now more than ever, but not for reasons you may be thinking

Actually, I thought the secondary was better than the Cowboys’ pass rush, given that the three 49ers quarterbacks threw the ball 39 times without taking a sack.

But it’s not because Dallas lost or looked bad that the team needs Thomas. It’s because, for most of the night, the Cowboys looked pretty good.

It’s a first preseason game and no one should make too much of anything, although we surely will hear that Baker Mayfield already has proved Cleveland correct for taking him first or that the Giants’ Saquon Barkley will win the rushing title as a rookie. No, you have to be careful with first impressions when the Browns look good and the Eagles look bad.

The Cowboys have youth on their side this season. No one over the age of 30 lined up for either the offense or defense Thursday night. That is different. And the team clearly has an interesting can’t-lose choice to make at middle linebacker where Jaylon Smith is moving like a first-round pick and Leighton Vander Esch actually was one.

It’s because this team looks like it has a chance to do something in 2018 that you wonder why the Jones family doesn’t help things along by adding Thomas. How much would a leader, a captain, a decorated Pro Bowl free safety who changed the way the Legion

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