Arguably the biggest free agent signing for the Dallas Cowboys to date is wide receiver Allen Hurns. He was seen as an immediate upgrade for the position group, and the recent reports of an offseason foot injury to Terrance Williams just makes him more valuable. With his team-friendly contract, he represents a great value for Dallas.
That contract was a very pleasant surprise when details were revealed.
Allen Hurns has officially signed the deal with the Cowboys. The two-year deal is worth up to $12 million and includes a $2.5 million signing bonus that is the only guaranteed money. Hurns will count $4.375 million against the cap in 2018. https://t.co/YMo0hMZP22— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 24, 2018
That seemed a bit low, especially with the bloated deals that were handed out during the first few days of free agency. It almost looked like he took less to play for the Cowboys than he could have gotten elsewhere.
Turns out appearances are not deceiving in this case, because according to an interview of Hurns on SiriusXM NFL radio by Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn, that’s exactly what he did.
Tell us about the decision and signing with the Cowboys.
I’m very excited. Choosing Dallas, felt like it was a great situation for me opportunity-wise. Other teams offered me more [money] but I felt like they [the Cowboys] have a great young team. I got along really well with the coaches. ... I feel like this opportunity is going to be the best for me.
Hurns went on to say that other teams in the mix for him were the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets, and the Baltimore Ravens, all of whom had more cap space that the Cowboys - about $75 million (!), $35 million, and $10 million, respectively. It seems very clear that Hurns wound up in Dallas because that is exactly where he wanted to be. Here’s more on what he said about that.
Main thing for me was opportunity. The Jets’ quarterback situation is up in the air. Same with Cleveland, yeah they’ve got Tyrod [Taylor], but you never know how things are going to play out over there. I felt like Dallas knew what they wanted to do as far as the offensive situation. Dak’s gonna be there. You’ve got Zeke [Ezekiel Elliott] coming back. I’m excited to play alongside Dez [Bryant].
There has long been a belief among many in the fan base that quite a few players put a premium on playing for the Cowboys. Others thought that was a bit unrealistic, but in Hurns’s case, it seems to be quite real. And he is not alone, at least in this free agent group. Earlier this week, new Dallas linebacker Joe Thomas told Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News that he was only interested in the Cowboys.
“I knew it was the best fit for me because I was there before, I was familiar with some of the players, I was familiar with some of the coaching staff,” Thomas said in a recent phone interview. “Overall it’s just a great organization. They’re already in a position to go all the way and take it to a Super Bowl, and that’s what I was looking for.”
Thomas didn’t meet with any other teams when free agency started on March 14.
”Nah, it was going to be the Cowboys the whole time,” he said. “The Cowboys (presented) the best opportunity. I think it was the smartest decision I could have made.”
There also could be a little of this in play with new OT Cameron Fleming as well. He signed another one of those team-friendly deals with Dallas (one year, $3.5 million), which seems really remarkable when you look at how he was ranked among FA tackles by Walter Football. Our own Danny Phantom put it this way:
Walter Football has Fleming as the 2nd best free agent OT on the market this year in between Nate Solder ($15.5 million annually) and Chris Hubbard ($7.5 million annually). What a screaming deal for the Cowboys.
Maybe the myth about Dallas being an exceptionally sought destination for NFL players has a bit more truth to it than some cynics believe. Whatever the case, Hurns, Thomas, Fleming, and the other acquisitions over the past several days seem to be good additions at great value. They certainly look more like usable pieces than the dismal free agent group from last season. And quite importantly, all appearances are that they really want to be with the Cowboys.
Free agency went from a “failure” to a potential big win over the span of eight days in Dallas, all at incredibly reasonable prices. Let’s hope the new players eventually look back on their time wearing the Star with a lot of satisfaction. They certainly anticipate good things.