How Denver and Dallas got it right


The Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos are feeling celebratory about new contracts for their leading receivers after beating the Wednesday deadline for signing franchise players to long-term deals. Should they be?

It's an odd question on the surface because every team should strive to keep its best players in their prime years. But the question is appropriate given how frequently NFL teams have regretted the megadeals they've signed with wide receivers -- sometimes even when those wideouts met expectations on the field.

Deals for Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Wallace, Percy Harvin and others have placed the signing teams in difficult positions. Meanwhile, the college game seems to be producing younger and cheaper alternatives in encouraging numbers, at least of late. In light of this, a colleague suggested this week that wide receiver might be the new running back -- and if so, the WR position should be approached with additional caution, knowing supply isn't a problem.

There's merit in that thinking, but two factors lead me to believe the Cowboys and Broncos made the right decisions with Bryant and Thomas, respectively.