By now you likely know that the Dallas Cowboys made a run at Sammy Watkins early on into free agency. Had they been successful, Dez Bryant would likely be elsewhere by now.
Dallas was interested in Watkins as a replacement to Dez, but when looking at the receiver market they likely surrendered themselves to the notion that financially Dez was their best option. Thankfully, they turned their eye towards finding him a tag-team partner to play with.
Somehow, some way, the Cowboys were able to land Allen Hurns on Friday afternoon. With it essentially confirmed that he and Dez will both be in Dallas in 2018, Cowboys fans everywhere got excited. You should be excited. This is a fun duo.
While Allen Hurns isn’t Sammy Watkins, he is definitely a well-rounded receiver in his own right. He can play the X, Y, and Z positions, but it’s likely that Dallas uses him on the outside opposite of Dez. And even though he isn’t Sammy Watkins, Allen’s production is eerily similar.
Take a look at that data and let it marinate for a second.
Sammy Watkins was the first receiver drafted in 2014. He went fourth overall to the Buffalo Bills (who even traded up to get him). He’s played with quarterbacks in Tyrod Taylor and Jared Goff that far exceed what Allen Hurns has had to work with (Blake Bortles).
Hurns wasn’t even drafted (he’s the fourth player Dallas has brought in this offseason that wasn’t, all four so far are UDFAs). Somehow though, Allen Hurns has found a way to overcome that obstacle and become a contributing wide receiver in the NFL.
Do statistics tell the whole story when it comes to wide receivers (or any position)? Of course not. It would be irresponsible to look merely at this data and draw any legitimate conclusions off of it. It is encouraging though to note that the Cowboys are paying Allen Hurns 38% of what the Chiefs are paying Sammy Watkins annually despite similar resumes.
It was foolish for the Cowboys to hypothetically pay Sammy Watkins $16M per year, and maybe that’s why they didn’t do it. Maybe they only went to the car show, saw the price tag, and went home. Thankfully for all of us though, they didn’t lock themselves in.
Allen Hurns is not the same player Sammy Watkins is, but he’s never been asked to be. Despite this, he’s posted similar numbers in the exact same amount of time. Now the Chiefs will pay Sammy to be their star, and the Cowboys will pay Allen to complement Dez Bryant.
That’s a win in my book.