The 26-year old enters the season restart in career-best form, finishing the opening two games this year with 318 running meters, the most since the statistic started to be recorded in 1999.
“I never thought I’d say this, I think he will become the greatest-ever forward our game has seen,” Daley said on Sky Sports Radio Tuesday morning.
“I think he’ll possibly become the Cowboys’ greatest-ever player.”
Thurston finished his career with the Cowboys with a record four Dally M Medals and captained the side to the 2015 premiership.
Taumalolo was a joint winner of the 2016 Dally M Medal but Daley predicts that this won’t be the only one that the Tongan star will win.
“I think he should be favourite for the Dally M,” Daley said.
“This is a guy who is averaging at least 250 metres per game. He gets better and better with every game. He’s got footwork, he’s got speed and he gets better when the opposition gets tired.”
“If he was playing for Queensland and Australia we would have him elevated to another level.”
“He’s won the last four Cowboys Player of the Years.”
“What he does on the field, I haven’t seen others do.”
With players such as Newcastle fullback Kalyn Ponga receiving million-dollar contracts, Daley said the Cowboys were shrewd to lock down Taumalolo on a 10-year deal in 2017.
“If you look at a guy like Jason Taumalolo, the Cowboys side got him on a 10-year deal,” he said.
“He’s worth every cent of that. Now, in five years time when he’s in his last year, he may not be worth that but what he’s been able to do in the first four years has been sensational.”
“He’s probably worth more money if he was on the open market now than $1 million.”