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2 for 1: Should Cowboys Cut Cooper to Keep Gallup & Wilson?

The Cowboys are in a tough spot this at . and are both , potentially wiping out the depth behind starters and . With huge cap relief potentially gained from Amari's contract, should Dallas consider releasing Cooper in a two-for-one deal to retain Gallup and Wilson?

As you probably know by now the Cowboys' situation in 2022 isn't pretty. Over The Cap currently has Dallas at about $21.5 million over next year's cap, meaning restructures, releases, and even letting talent walk away will all be part of the team's upcoming offseason business.

While Cooper and Lamb as your starting wideouts is a great place to start, the departures of Gallup, Wilson, , and Malik Turner would essentially empty the rest of the position. Dallas would be left with , who only appeared on seven offensive plays and had no passes thrown his way, and some guys as candidates for WR3 and other backup roles.

The overall pictures at wide receiver and the rest of the roster is going to force the Cowboys into some tough decisions and strategic moves. One idea that's been floated around is releasing Amari Cooper to clear $16 million in cap space and then using that money to re-sign Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson; retaining two key receivers for the price of losing one.

From a purely financial perspective this could work out. According to Spotrac, Gallup's estimated market value in is around $11.8 million per year and Wilson's is $6.4 million. With the first year of contracts generally having the lowest cap hits, keeping both at market value should come out fairly close to the $16 million you'd get back from cutting Cooper.

So yes, the math makes sense. But would it ultimately be the smartest way to handle the issue and the best thing for Dallas on the field?

Cowboys WRs Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Cedrick Wilson

A huge factor in this is Gallup's late-season ACL . Injuring it in , Michael just had surgery on it in early February and will likely miss most if not all of the offseason work. Returning for the is the current projection but any recovery setbacks could quickly impact the real games.

However, if Gallup's fully healthy in 2022 then he and CeeDee Lamb would also be a great starting duo. Whereas Amari's chemistry in the with QB has at times been questioned, Gallup has proven the last few years to arguably have the best connection with Prescott and has been his favorite target in clutch moments.

Cedrick Wilson has been an exceptional depth player for Dallas in recent seasons. He's proven he can step up when have pulled him up into the top three. Having him officially take over as WR3 wouldn't be a scary proposition.

Still, Amari Cooper is the most talented WR in this conversation and arguably on Dallas' roster. He's a four-time Pro Bowler and turns just 28 in July. He's a top-notch route runner with the most reliable hands on the team; a weapon that Prescott and need to do a better job of utilizing.

Another option Dallas has is to restructure Cooper's contract, clearing about $12.6 million in cap space and keeping Amari in house for at least next year and probably longer. The Cowboys probably wouldn't be able to keep both Gallup and Wilson at that point but could aggressively pursue one of them.

The Cowboys are reportedly committed to keeping Gallup next season. But that commitment seems rather hollow if it also means losing Cooper; robbing Peter to pay Paul in terms of your overall talent at receiver.

The three-headed monster of Cooper, Lamb, and Gallup has been Dallas' best offensive advantage the last two years. Their goal this offseason should be preserving it and bolstering other parts of the offense, retooling the offense line and making sure they still have a who can capitalize on the opportunity.

Every championship team usually has a component of the roster that gives them a competitive over most, if not all, of their fellow 31 teams. For the , maintaining their strength and depth at wide receiver is where they can most easily outshine their NFL brethren.

That means finding a way to keep both Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on the roster, not sacrificing one for the sake of the other.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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Garrett N Smith

Jesse this is your best article to date. Spot on in your analysis of the wr situation. Finally, We agree on your point of view. You usually turn me off with your commentary but this article I like. You were committed to the facts. Amari and Michael need to stay. Restructuring the best wideout is a no-brainer. Though Cedrick is a good #3, Dallas is better off with its 3-heaeded monster .


My “option #1” would be to see if there is any trade interest for Cooper. If so, take whatever they can get and use the savings as you said.

Option #2 would be to restructure (even though I hate restructures) Cooper and use that money to reduce the amount they are over the cap and to re-sign Wilson and…Schultz. Yup, I’d take Schultz over an expensive, gimpy Gallup with an unproven knee. He doesn’t seem interested in giving the team a discount, so let him see what he can get elsewhere. If he comes back with a reasonable number, maybe I’d re-sign him to a non-guaranteed deal.

Option #3 would be the cut and redistribute scenario you outlined.

Jasper J

Good discussion. Agree wholeheartedly. We have seen receiver by committee before Cooper and it was not pretty. No answer but to restructure Cooper and keep as long as possible. Scheme Cooper as number 1 and throw him the ball until he loses a step/gets old/stops making pro bowls. Keep Gallup or Wilson, keep both if possible. Love Schultz, but not at the expense of Gallup or Wilson. Schultz’ production can be replaced by the WRs, Jarwin, McKeon or a potentially less expensive FA like Njoku or OJ Howard.


Insane – Cooper is the better option betw Gallup and Wilson!


I don’t mind the idea of keeping Gallup and Wilson and parting ways with Cooper. The Cowboys are saddled with two over priced players in Dak and Zeke, which is going to force them to cut corners elsewhere. Gallup is a solid 1b to Lamb and I absolutely love what Wilson did last year. I don’t necessarily agree that Dak has excellent chemistry with Gallup. Gallup is missing a lot of yards and td’s on his resume due to Dak not connecting with him downfield. Cooper has been an excellent receiver for the Boys and he will be missed, but with the current cap situation I don’t see any way to keep him and I seriously doubt any team will want his contract in a trade. Dak and Zeke’s contracts cannot go away quick enough for this team. I fear they had their one good shot last year as these next few are going to be very difficult trying to maintain the needed talent around Dak.


Cooper is somewhat overrated and certainly is not worth 20 million per year. Arguably he isn’t in the top ten of WRs but is paid like he is top three. Not a position u allocate that much money to. And he has never been the most durable guy around.

Let him go and resign Wilson to be ur #2 behind Cee Dee.


Let Coop and Gallup go. Keep Wilson and Lamb, find a third.

Ruben Trevino

Cooper has. Not delivered !! He needs to be cut or traded before the draft!! Need to build the Offensive Line again!! It should be top priority!!

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