When a franchise earns the label of America's Team despite not winning a championship in almost 30 years, it is sure to evoke contempt from fanbases all around the NFL. Therefore, a city does not to want to hear that its team was potentially the second choice to the Dallas Cowboys. New Baltimore Ravens running back Derrick Henry found himself in this type of predicament.

The 2020 Offensive Player of the Year raised some eyebrows when he referred to the Cowboys as being a “perfect situation” in free agency due to his offseason residence in Dallas. Based on Henry's comments, many inferred that if the organization reached out to him, like he anticipated, the backfield of both the Ravens and Cowboys would look quite different today.

The former Tennessee Titans star is insisting, however, that his sights have been set on the Charm City since he officially entered the open market.

“For the record, Baltimore was always my No. 1 option,” Henry told The Jim Rome Show, per NFL.com's Kevin Patra. “That's always where I wanted to go. And like I said, I know the trade talks, it was almost going to happen, but I didn't know once free agency started if they still felt the same until I talked to my agent to see what was really going on.”

Could Cowboys have signed Derrick Henry if they really wanted to?

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs in a touchdown past Miami Dolphins safety Elijah Campbell (22) during the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Fla.,
Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Fans clamored for the Henry-Ravens pairing once the offseason started because of the possibilities the duo can open up on offense. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken can now keep defenses on their toes throughout the game, as opposing game plans will likely have to account for both reigning MVP Lamar Jackson and Henry doing damage with their legs.

So these comments are not shocking to hear. His additional remarks, however, will probably not completely dispel the notion that he might have signed with the Cowboys if the opportunity presented itself.

“I've been training here, living here for a while, so I just thought it made sense, and you know, I thought there {would} be talks,” Derrick Henry said. “But they never really reached out. And you know, like I said, everything happens for a reason, I just pray to God to put me in the place where I'm meant to be, and Baltimore is that spot. And I'm happy and I'm excited for the opportunity.”

King Henry may have had the Ravens on the top of his list, but it sounds like one Jerry Jones phone call would have forced the 6-foot-3, 247-pounder to at least consider joining the Cowboys. It stands to reason that if a player expects to receive interest from a team he has also called a “perfect situation,” a bidding war could have potentially ensued.

But Dallas was obviously not interested in investing too much money on addressing its backfield needs. The fact that Henry is 30 years old and seemingly declining also might have played a factor in the decision to sit out this sweepstakes. In any case, Baltimore and its new back are fired up about the 2024-25 season.

Derrick Henry can help Ravens get closer to the top

Henry signed with the Ravens on a two-year, $16 million contract at the beginning of free agency. He is determined to contend for a Super Bowl title, and the team clearly views him as being instrumental to getting past the Kansas City Chiefs and an arduous AFC North. Though, multiple losses on the offensive line might make it tough for him to surpass the modest 4.2 yards per carry he recorded last year.

The four-time Pro Bowl selection is the right guy to take on adversity, however. Even behind a bottom-barrel Titans O-Line, Henry still managed to bulldoze his way into the end zone 12 times in 2023-24. If he can attain similar production with Baltimore, the team who owned the best record in the NFL last season should have a chance to take care of its unfinished business.

There is no need to further contemplate a hypothetical Dallas-Henry union. Cowboys and Ravens fans have plenty else to be concerned with in the lead-up to what is a critically important campaign for both franchises.