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Did The Cowboys Get Good Value With The Dez Bryant Deal?

The front office treaded carefully before striking a 5-year, $70 million deal with their star wide receiver, but did they get him for the right price?

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

They say you can't put a price tag on happiness. But if you could, it would be about $70 million. Make no mistake about it, yesterday's deal brought about a lot of happiness out in Cowboys Nation. While many fans knew this day was coming, what wasn't known was the price that the Cowboys would have to ante up to retain the services of one of the best wide receivers in the league. With the signing of a 5-year, $70 million deal, Dez Bryant will have an average annual salary of $14 million, with only Calvin Johnson ahead of him.

So now that the deal is done, the question is - is he worth it?

To establish some frame of reference, a value will be placed on the five highest paid WRs entering the 2015 off-season. Here are the contract terms of these participants with Dez now worked into the mix.

Wide Receiver Year Terms Yearly Average
Calvin Johnson 2013 7 years, $113.5 million $16.2
Larry Fitzgerald 2011 7 years, $113 million $16.1
Dez Bryant 2015 5 years, $70 million $14.0
Mike Wallace 2013 5 years, $60 million $12.0
Vincent Jackson 2012 5 years, $55.5 million $11.1
Victor Cruz 2013 5 years, $43 million $8.6

Note: Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals worked out a restructured deal that reduces his annual salary to $11 million, so he's a little more of a bargain now, but the statistics being looked at will come at the cost of his previous contract.

Statistics are taken from yearly averages based only from the years of the new contract. The average annual salary is divided by each category to determine the receiver's value. For the sake of being able to compare Dez with these other receivers, the average of his last three seasons will be used. He's only 26-years-old and his best years are still ahead of him, but for now these values are the best way to represent his worth.

PRICE PER CATCH

Wide Receiver $ Per Catch
Vincent Jackson $151,515
Dez Bryant $153,846
Mike Wallace $171,429
Victor Cruz $179,167
Calvin Johnson $209,124
Larry Fitzgerald $218,147

Vincent Jackson is the best value in when it comes to catches. He's been consistent averaging 73 catches during his three years in Tampa Bay. Dez comes in as the second best value as he has had three straight seasons with 88 or more receptions. None of these other receivers have hit that mark since signing their contract. Calvin Johnson's 84 catches in 2013 is the closest.

PRICE PER YARD

Wide Receiver $ Per Yard
Vincent Jackson $9,234
Dez Bryant $10,617
Calvin Johnson $12,617
Victor Cruz $12,884
Mike Wallace $13,393
Larry Fitzgerald $16,360

Again Vincent Jackson comes out as the best value which shows that the Buccaneers are getting their money's worth when they signed him away from San Diego. Jackson has been a deep threat receiver all his career. In fact, all these WRs are home running hitting receivers so the fact that Dez sits in at the number two spot is a little surprising.

PRICE PER TD

Wide Receiver $ Per TD
Dez Bryant $1,024,380
Mike Wallace $1,600,000
Calvin Johnson $1,620,714
Vincent Jackson $1,960,784
Larry Fitzgerald $2,690,476
Victor Cruz $3,440,000

Bryant has been one of the elite red zone targets in the league for the last few years so it's not surprising to see him at the top of this list. Bryant has shown an increase in touchdowns in every single season throughout his five year career. The Cowboys are definitely getting their money's worth on that one, especially if he keeps that trend moving upward.

It's hard to truly describe just how valuable a receiver like Dez Bryant is to this team. He is physical, makes defenders miss, and has great concentration while hauling in some phenomenal catches. He demands so much attention from the defense that he helps his team in ways that stats don't always show. But the statistics that do show are remarkable. Dollar for dollar, Dez looks to be a play making bargain for the Cowboys going forward.

Do you think the Cowboys got good value for his price?

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