Cowboys Urged to Cut Ties With $57.5 Million ‘Poor Investment’

Cowboys' Michael Gallup

Getty Cowboys' Michael Gallup

It is expected that things will get ugly for the Dallas Cowboys as their offseason settles in. Another 12-5 record and yet another shocking playoff flop will do that to a team. Mike McCarthy and the coaching staff should be in for a rough few weeks. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the front office should be in for a rough few weeks. And the team’s accountants should be in for a rough few months, meaning that some of the team’s higher-ticket players on the Cowboys roster — namely wide receiver Michael Gallup — will be in for a rough time, too.

Gallup was emblematic of all that went wrong for the Cowboys this season. He was a major disappointment during the season, with 34 catches and just 418 yards, the fewest of his career. He posted shiny numbers in the Cowboys’ wild-card loss to the Packers (six catches and 103 yards) but did not make a catch until the Packers were down 20-0, and he had only two first-half catches for 25 yards.

Now, with the Cowboys facing a massive payroll crunch, Gallup could be on the firing line. That’s the sentiment from Bleacher Report this week, which tabbed the Cowboys players most likely to be “cap casualties” and put Gallup at the top of the list.

Michael Gallup Has Not Lived Up to Paycheck

Here’s how Kris Knox of B/R sees the situation for the Cowboys, who are already $16 million over the salary cap (per heading into the offseason and will need to be conscious of every dollar.

“Wide receiver Michael Gallup has struggled to meet expectations since the Dallas Cowboys signed him to a five-year, $57.5 million extension in 2022. While he’s still capable of making the occasional big play, Gallup clearly ceded the No. 2 receiver role to Brandin Cooks this season.

“Jerry Jones rarely admits to poor investments, but it’s time to either restructure Gallup’s deal or pull the plug entirely. Releasing him with a post-June 1 designation would save $9.5 million in cap space while triggering a dead-cap hit of only $4.4 million,” Knox wrote in the January 16 story.

While the Cowboys have one of the top wideouts in the league in star CeeDee Lamb, they’ve struggled to find a player who fits the bill as a second option. Cooks is solid, but he is 30 years old and better suited to occupy a No. 3 role. Gallup has the speed and downfield ability to be a No. 2, which is why they got rid of Amari Cooper (who topped 1,100 yards each of the past two seasons), but Gallup has yet to translate his ability into production.

Cowboys Have Expensive Decisions Ahead

The Cowboys do not have the luxury of letting Gallup get away with underachieving anymore. They can’t afford mistakes like letting Cooper walk, nor can they wait on draft picks such as 2022 third-rounder Jalen Tolbert.

That’s because for the Cowboys, a lot of the free lunches they’ve had in the last couple of years are not going to be free any more.

Dallas needs to pay Dak Prescott, who, despite leading the playoff disaster we just saw, could still get the richest contract in NFL history this offseason. His backloaded contract hits $59.5 million next season, and that needs to be reworked into a long-term deal.

The Cowboys also need to make Micah Parsons and Lamb among the highest paid players at their positions. Because they’re on their rookie deals, Parsons and Lamb were on the roster for a combined $9 million last year. That will change now that the Cowboys have to dole out extensions.

Dallas will need to tighten its belt elsewhere. And Gallup is the top candidate.

Read More