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After 2020, WR Michael Gallup’s Future in Dallas Becomes Cloudy

What do the Dallas Cowboys do with WR Michael Gallup after 2020?

It’s never too early to start thinking about and planning for the future in my opinion. That’s the current mindset I find myself in, especially in regards to what takes place between the Dallas Cowboys and Michael Gallup beyond the 2020 season. There’s no denying Gallup is an up-and-coming star in the NFL, but it’s that status that also makes his long-term future in Dallas a bit cloudy.

The Dallas Cowboys technically have Michael Gallup under contract for at least two more years. He doesn’t become a free agent until after the 2021 season, however, that also means Gallup has to be willing to play out his entire rookie deal. That’s where everything becomes a bit cloudy. What if he’s not willing to play out his rookie contract? What happens then?

It’s become somewhat commonplace for up-and-coming players to try and secure their long term future before finishing out their rookie contracts. That has to be in the back of Michael Gallup’s mind, and if not, you can bet it’s something his agent is thinking about. So what does that mean for the Dallas Cowboys? What are their options?

Cowboys’ Options With Michael Gallup Beyond 2020

  • Sign Michael Gallup to a long-term extension
  • Let him play out his rookie contract
  • Trade him prior to the 2021 season
  • Use the transition/franchise tag on him in 2022

Let’s discuss each one of these options a little bit more in detail shall we…

Signing Michael Gallup to a Long-term Extension

Odds are we can probably take this option off the table. The Dallas Cowboys already have a lot of money invested in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. Both players are locked up financially for probably the next five years, if/when the Cowboys exercise Lamb’s fifth-year option. It’s unlikely they’d be willing to invest even more money into the position by awarding a Michael Gallup a long-term extension.

After looking at comparable WR contracts, Michael Gallup will at least be looking to make $10 million annually on his next contract. It’s highly unlikely the Cowboys are interested in keeping him under that kind of price tag. That money will need to be spread out and allocated to other positions on the roster in need of upgrading. So, I guess we can we can scratch this option off the list.

Let Michael Gallup Play out his Rookie Contract

If I’m being completely honest, I think this is most likely option the Dallas Cowboys go with in regards to Michael Gallup. With so much money already invested in the WR position, the Cowboys can simply sit back and let Gallup play out his rookie contract. Once he signs elsewhere after the 2021 season, as a free agent, they should receive a 2022 compensatory pick in return.

Michael Gallup may not be happy if this is the way things play out, but playing alongside Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb should help him boost his stats over the next two seasons. More production typically means more demand on the open market and more money in the bank account. It also means he has a say in the team he ends up playing for next.

Trade Michael Gallup Prior to the 2021 Season

Michael Gallup doesn’t have much leverage when it comes to seeking a long-term extension from the Dallas Cowboys, but he could use what he has. He could threaten to hold out the 2021 season until his demands are met or ask for a trade to a team willing to offer him the long-term financial stability the Cowboys aren’t. This situation is starting to become more commonplace for young up-and-coming players.

It’s unlikely the Dallas Cowboys give in to Gallup’s contract demands, but what about giving into a trade request? Like I mentioned earlier, the Cowboys will more than likely receive a 2022 compensatory pick by letting him play out his rookie contract. If they trade him prior to the 2021 season the compensation would have to be quite a bit better than the comp pick, which could be as high as a third-rounder. I doubt it happens, but it’s interesting to think about.

Use the Transition/Franchise Tag on Michael Gallup in 2022

If the Dallas Cowboys are unwilling to give Michael Gallup a long-term extension, using the transition/franchise tag to secure Michael Gallup’s services in 2022 is highly unlikely. This is a scenario much like the Cowboys found themselves in this offseason with Amari Cooper. It would’ve cost them over $15 million to use the transition tag on Cooper and over $17 million for the franchise tag.

Those numbers are expected to go up by 2022 and I highly doubt the Cowboys believe Michael Gallup is worthy of that kind of money. Some team may be willing to pay Gallup northwards of $10 million a season, but like we discussed earlier Dallas probably isn’t with the amount of money already invested into the position. So, this is probably another option we can take off the table.

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With all of that in mind, it really looks as if the Dallas Cowboys only have two options that make sense in regards to Michael Gallup. They can trade him if the compensation justifies doing so or they simply let him play out his rookie contract, which should net them a 2022 compensatory pick. Luckily, we still have one more season of Gallup’s services before we really have to take any of this seriously. It’s something to keep in mind though.

What do you think Michael Gallup’s future is with the Dallas Cowboys?

What do you think?

Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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  1. I think the Cowboys set a dangerous precedent when they allowed that knucklehead E Elliott to hold them hostage and renegotiate with TWO yrs left on his contract. …..and what happens when he gets the new contract he screws our season up and comes back out of shape and looked ordinary for most of the remainder of the season. How many seasons have been lost to teams under the same scenario. And unlike the QB position it’s been proven time and again that u don’t need an elite RB to get to the super bowl . Not to mention Zeke is one bonehead decision away from another lengthy suspension. Granted Gallup doesn’t have the star power of Zeke so it’s unlikely they bow to his demands,
    especially with Cooper and Lamb under contract for several more yrs. but no doubt other players will use these tactics in the future.

    • Gary, I don’t fault Zeke for doing what he believed was in his best interest to secure his financial future. We see NFL teams use their leverage all the time when it comes to money making decisions, so why can’t the players. It’s a business after all and it’s their livelihood.

  2. I wouldn’t want it to happen but if you can get Jamal Adams for Gallup you take that trade. Jamal Adams is a superstar and Gallup will just be a star. You can find a replacement for Gallup by moving Lamb outside and maybe even get Dez back for the slot. This puts our defense up 2 levels and offense can stay the same.

    • Andrew, trading Michael Gallup for Jamal Adams becomes more plausible after the 2020 season because both players will be in a contract year heading into 2021. Right now, I don’t think it’s even a consideration.

      • Actually, this is the only way Gallup is comparable compensation to be mentioned in a trade for JAdams. That extra year of control for NYJets may be attractive. Otherwise, Gallup is no more than a 1yr rental.

        Now may be the time. We have a few guys who may be better options, considering Gallup had 2nd most drops in NFL last year. Addition by subtraction.

  3. U don’t trade a talent like that you build on from there …Emmit Smith held out I’m a die hard Cowboys fan .And Jamal Adam’s u trade picks for him whether it’s a 1st and a 3rd and u lock him up. Michael Gallup is the future you don’t trade the core…

    • We don’t really know what the Dallas Cowboys have in mind for Michael Gallup. Wide receiver is one of the most easily replaced positions in the NFL. It’s really going to be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

      • That was my thinking on trading him for Adams. We already have our 1 and 2 receivers in Coop and Lamb so the slot should be readily filled. Give Adams, Gallup’s money you would pay him and you replace Gallup with a cheaper version.

  4. Gallup already closing in on Larry Fitzgerald in dropped passes. I say trade Gallup for a 2nd and 5th rounder and use both those picks on WR’S. WR isn’t that hard to replace especially if you got an awesome WR coach. In 2-3 years trade Zeke as well.

    • A 2021 2nd and 5th could be a good asking price if the Cowboys were interested in trading Michael Gallup after the season. I don’t know if they would go for it or not though.

  5. I really think you are overlooking one huge factor in Gallup’s favor, Cooper’s contract is basically just a 2 year deal with the guaranteed money paid out already. Then just dead cap hits of $6, 4, and 2 million the next three years respectively. I think it’s far more likely that Gallup signs a long term deal, depending on what happens the next year or two, and then Cooper is cut or traded, or even has his deal adjusted. Either way, i think it is entirely possible that Gallup lasts longer than Cooper in Dallas. Likewise, i think it’s totally possible he is gone in a year or two.

    Additionally, I would not include Gallup in a trade for Adams, at least not this year. We know Gallup is good, we don’t know that Ceedee will be good right out of the gate. Keeping this explosive offense together this year is more important than upgrading the safety position, even if it is a player of Adams’s caliber.

    • Sean, you’re forgetting where CeeDee Lamb falls into this equation. I don’t think the Dallas Cowboys would sign both Michael Gallup and Lamb long-term. If the Cowboys do plan on moving on from Cooper in a few years, it will probably come down between Gallup and Lamb for who wins the second contract to stay in Dallas.

  6. We don’t know what’s going to be happening with the coronavirus after 2021 so we don’t know what the salary cap will look like but in all likelihood it will go up.
    With that being said the Cowboys can walk away from the Cooper deal after 2021, leaving them with a dead-cap hit of $6, but giving them $14 in cap space. CeeDee will still be on a rookie contract through 2025 (if they give him the 5th year option). So he’s irrelevant this decision.
    If Gallup continues to grow and get better why not let Cooper walk and sign Gallup to a long term extension? Especially if Gallup’s price tag is $10-$12 million a year.

    • Let’s pretend the Cowboys do plan on moving on from Cooper in a few years. It’s unlikely they’d sign both Gallup and Lamb to long-term extensions. I think it’s going to be one of the other.

      • If we do move on from Cooper in 2 years, why can’t we sign both Gallup and Lamb to long term extensions? Lamb wouldn’t need another deal until 3 years after Gallup would get his deal and at that time Gallup could get the same treatment as Cooper and be traded off or released 3 years into his new deal. I think that this season will determine who the Cowboys keep between Gallup and Cooper based on who plays better.

        • It’s possible and completely doable, however, the Dallas Cowboys would still have to eat quite a bit dead money by releasing Cooper and on top of it sign Michael Gallup to a long-term deal. And the money CeeDee Lamb is making as a first-round draft pick isn’t pocket change either. Add it all up and that’s a lot of money invested into the WR position. And you’re right about the 2020 season… It could weigh heavily into Michael Gallup’s future with not only the Cowboys, but elsewhere as well.

      • I don’t think your understanding the contract situation kenon pointed out!! We won’t have to give Ceedee Lamb another contract until 2025…. Gallup is due for one in 2022, that’s a 3 year difference!! We can give Gallup another contract for 3 years when that time comes and then pay Ceedee in 2025 when Gallups 2nd contract runs out, and then let Gallup walk then!! At no point will we have to choose between the two, unless Gallup wants a 3rd contract, but that won’t happen!! So giving Gallup a 2nd contract is very possible!! Especially if we decide to let Cooper walk in 2 years!! And if Cooper keeps going the way he did last season…. Getting hurt a lot and not showing up on the road or when we need him the most, it’s very possible we cut him after the 2nd year of his contract!! So again…. Giving Gallup a 2nd contract is very possible!!

  7. With Lamb in the fold and Cooper being here at least another 2 years, I think its a stretch to think Gallup will ever achieve WR1 status here (unless we are all wrong about Lamb), so his ego will come into play at some point. My hope is that McCarthy rights this ship, Gallup will welcome the role of a reasonably high paid No.2 receiver on a contending team, and we can keep this group together for a while. I think Gallup runs the risk of getting over-payed as a potential No.1 wideout and disappearing into the same abyss that has caught the likes of Alvin Harper, Laraunt Robinson, Miles Austin, and so many others. I certainly wouldn’t begrudge for taking top dollar, but I think his career could suffer because of it. This just seems like the absolute perfect situation for him, assuming his earning ability/ego/agent allows it.

    • Bill, everything you said is true. I for one think Michael Gallup will try to squeeze as much out of his second contract as possible. Money usually speaks louder than team loyalty IMO. Of course, that could all change if the Dallas Cowboys are Super Bowl contenders when the contract negotiations start becoming serious.

      • Yup, and the other side of that coin is that perhaps he just needs to prove he’s a true WR1 type talent, and I wouldn’t fault him for that either. Let’s just hope we enjoy this trio and that they can spearhead a Championship run or three …

  8. America Team , its been almost #25 years since we have ‘won the Lombardi Trophy, and as long drought for many of us older Fans, from 1960’s , to put with this undisplene, players like Zek, and paid that kind money and give lack luster performance, loyalty is What we put up far too. Long ! God Bless America.
    Michael Angelo “, Tallahassee Fl

    • Michael, that’s sadly the way things are done in the salary-cap era. I really don’t know how much loyalty there was prior to the salary-cap because owners could pretty much open their checkbook and spend as much or as little as they wanted. Now everything is run more like a business and there’s very little loyalty on either side, owners or players.

    • As much as I can argue it’s not “good business” to overpay, I’ve always respected Jerry for how he paid the elite athletes at later points in their careers for services previously rendered. But nowadays, athletes are asking for the money that they project their talent should get them … wish I could do that!

      I don’t fault either side for the stances they make, but it’s made being a fan a lot different for those of us from the Mezazoic Era!

  9. The future is unknown in many ways, but I figure we have maybe a 3 yr window here. Two yrs from now our talented rookie class will have yr under their belt and our present stars should be in their prime. What with RBs having a short shelf life I figure Zeke only has 2- 3 more elite yrs left in him, especially with his heavy workload. No telling what our roster will look like after that. We have to take advantage now. Most players go to the highest bidder especially if it is their first big contract, so I expect Gallup to be gone unless Cowboys can come close to offers. Lets see how Coopers health holds up next yr that could tip the scales

  10. To all u lame posers of being cowboys fan all you can think of is the money aspect , but you never speak of how owners throw away young talent like with slightest injury or an off season , like they are a piece of meat not sticking by the player until they get healthy or get the full understanding of their positions . You guys act like great players just fail out of the sky not that sometimes it takes time to adjust even for great players . Patients is what we should have for these players that have been acquired this year and these new coachs which are seasoned coachs . We just might have the best all around players and coachs we have had since Jimmie J and troy , emmitt , Mike , and that killer D . So sit back shut the hell up and enjoy the ride and guit being dumb ass pundits .
    And I have been a true cowboy fanatic since 1960 at the age of 10 in S A and have been to 2 super bowls in LA and Tempe , ari bouth wins . Just enjoy the season guys .

  11. Next yr will likely determine who they keep keep out of Gallup and Cooper. Gallup is bigger and more physical but Cooper is more explosive and capable of big plays.
    Will Gallup continue to develop and take it to the next level and will Cooper rise up in key games and stay away from the injury bug. It’s my understanding that he has chronic plantar fasciitis. Not sure if it is getting worse but something to watch.

  12. 1st of all i wouldn’t compare Gallup to the like of Harper, Austin and especially not a 1 year wonder like Robinson. He’s a #1 homegrown wr. Do you guys remember how many time Dakota missed Gallup on the out n up route for a Td, especially in 2018, but it happened too many times last year as well. He runs great routes, has decent speed, catches ball when decently covered, is bigger and more physical than most recievers nowadays, and isn’t your typical diva either. But he does drop too many passes though, but he’ll improve on that area i hope. He’s the best reciever drafted by the Cowboys drafted since Dez. Cee Dee not included yet. I love Amari Cooper but Gallup finished with 9 less receptions, 82 less yards and 2 fewer Tds. If Cooper is a #1 reciever I’d say Gallup is 1 tooo. And he only cost us 1 3rd round pick. I don’t know how much money is due on his last year of his rookie contract but since he’s a 3rd round pick i think he’ll be with the Cowboys for 2 more years….

  13. Cut Tyrone Crawford and now you can afford Gallup. he’s also worth the 10mil if that is the price. Also some ppl say we can afford to pay Jamal Adams 16 mil. If that is true then paying Gallup is no problem.

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