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Cowboys beat Patriots, Dolphins, Saints to Price

The Dallas Cowboys won the Peerless Price sweepstakes Saturday, reaching agreement on a one-year contract worth $2 million.

The Cowboys beat out the Patriots, Dolphins and Saints in a competitive couple days of recruiting and negotiating with Price, who was released by the Atlanta Falcons in the cutdown to 65 earlier in the week.

On Friday, the numbers were at the $1.5 million level. The Cowboys finished the negotiations Saturday afternoon by offering the wide receiver $2 million for the season, including $500,000 in a signing bonus.

While the money was a factor in Price's decision, since Dallas' offer was considerably more than the other proposals he received, Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe should get credit for an assist in helping to get Price to sign.

Bledsoe has been essentially recruiting Price by phone for more than a month. The two played together in Buffalo, where the receiver was successful as the No. 2 option behind starter Eric Moulds. Bledsoe has stayed in close contact for much of the offseason, or ever since it became apparent Price's days in Atlanta were numbered.

The quarterback clearly believes that Price, who had a career-best season in 2002 (94 catches, 1,252 yards, nine touchdowns) when Bledsoe was throwing to him, is salvageable. Others around the league who feel Price still has quick feet but has lost some speed -- he was never as straight-line fast as some people claimed he was -- aren't quite as sure. But Bledsoe has lobbied owner Jerry Jones and coach Bill Parcells hard to bring Price aboard, probably as the No. 3 receiver behind starters Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn.

Price sat in Jones' owners box during the Cowboys' preseason finale against the Texans. Price had just visited with the Patriots and Dolphins, but the Cowboys continued pitching their team and Parcells.

Interestingly, Price told friends of his failed two-year tenure in Atlanta that he might never have approved the 2003 trade to the Falcons had he known he was "going to Nebraska." It was an allusion to the fact that, even with Michael Vick as the starting quarterback, a guy with whom Price desperately wanted to play when the deal was made, the Falcons are a run-first offense. The irony is that, in signing with the Cowboys, he will be going to an offense that is likewise run-oriented and in which second-year running back Julius Jones figures to be the centerpiece.

Patrick Crayton had beaten out Quincy Morgan for the No. 3 role, but that goes to Price unless he gets the opportunity to start.

Morgan might be among the team's final cuts.

John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli are senior NFL writers for ESPN.com.