Cedric Thornton is leaving the Philadelphia Eagles but he is not leaving the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys have agreed to terms with the free agent defensive lineman on a four-year contract worth $18 million, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. News of Thornton visiting Dallas first emerged on Wednesday.
Thornton, who turns 28 in June, was a good starting 3-4 defensive end for the Eagles over the past three seasons. He was known for being a really good run-stuffer in Chip Kelly's two-gap scheme. He was limited as a pass rusher, however, and was often replaced by Vinny Curry in obvious pass rush situations. Now Thornton will be switching back to a 4-3 defensive tackle with the Cowboys.
The Eagles seemingly never really showed much interest in bringing Thornton back to Philadelphia. The team already has superstar Fletcher Cox and rising talent Bennie Logan at defensive tackle. It didn't make sense for Thornton to settle for being a backup when he could find starting money elsewhere in free agency, and that's exactly what he did.
It's unfortunate for the Eagles that they have to lose a good player to a rival. With that said, Thornton always played hard. He worked up his way up the ladder from being an undrafted free agent in 2011 to a good starter. Thornton was a good and nice guy off the field as well. It's hard to blame him for doing what's best for him and his family.