It's a deal that had to get done. I think both sides can claim great success and a win for various reasons. But overall, this is another step to insuring a successful offseason and maybe the most vital. To have Dez, who I feel like is their best player, under contract for the duration of his prime can only be celebrated as a very positive step.
Do you think Dez should be the second-highest paid receiver in the NFL?
Yes, I do - I kind of thought they could have gone higher. For Dez to get the guaranteed money he got, which appears to be $45 million, that's an incredible number that puts him right below Megatron (Calvin Johnson of the Lions) and rightfully so, because that's where I think he is in this league. The one thing that surprised me was the total number was lower than I thought. That from the Cowboys' standpoint could be considered great news. It also means his deal is only five years, meaning he could get one more contract at age 31 on the backside. I expected they might get six or seven years to control him into his age 33 season, but evidently they opted for a little less annually in exchange for getting this deal.
How important is Dez to this offense?
Dez is one of those receivers who defies X's and Os. It doesn't matter if he's covered, he can still make plays and there are only a handful of guys who can do that. With his age, 26, and (the fact) you just lost DeMarco Murray, you are admitting you are building your offense around the advantages Dez Bryant gives you. That means you always will have a numbers advantage in the run game because Dez demands a double-team up top. Without DeMarco, the idea of risking Dez's presence would have been a fatal error on the Cowboys. If you're going to let DeMarco walk, you had to come to a long-term agreement with Dez Bryant.
I think we can make the case they planned on that all along, and both parties tried to get the best deal up until the deadline. In the end, I am not positive either party was willing to go past this deadline if you gave them truth serum. Dez was never going to leave the Cowboys and the Cowboys were never going to fully turn their back on Dez.