Dez Bryant, Cowboys agree to $70 million deal
The Dallas Cowboys and wide receiver Dez Bryant have agreed to a five-year deal worth $70 million, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN. Mortensen broke the story on ESPN's NFL Insiders, putting the Cowboys in a great position going into the 2015 season. Most importantly, the deal includes $45 million guaranteed.
Bryant had publicly expressed that he would not only skip training camp but miss regular season games if Dallas did not sign him to a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline of 4 p.m. EST. However, general manager Jerry Jones and chief operating officer Stephen Jones were able to ink Bryant to a contract of $14 million per season, the second-highest rate of all-time for a receiver next to Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions.
Since being drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Bryant has been one of the best players in the league. After amassing 561 and 928 yards in the first two years of his career, Bryant broke out in 2012 with 92 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. He replicated that feat in 2013 with 93 catches for 1,233 yards and 13 scores, leading into his free-agent campaign. Last year, Bryant had a career-year with 1,320 yards on 88 receptions with 16 touchdowns, displaying his worth.
Without Bryant, the Cowboys would have be facing the prospect of starting the season without the NFL's leader in receiving touchdowns last season, along with the league's leading rusher from 2014 in DeMarco Murray. With Murray gone via free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles, getting Bryant signed became the top priority for a franchise not known for saving money.
Dallas won the NFC East with a 12-4 record last season and looks to go further in the playoffs this season. The Cowboys advanced to the Divisional Playoffs before losing in a controversial game to the Green Bay Packers.