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Dallas Cowboys Should Not Entertain a Michael Gallup Trade

It’s tempting to look at areas of abundance and attempt to diversify your assets to be better in other areas. That is where the idea that comes from the “trade Michael Gallup” camp comes from. It’s completely understandable. The amount of depth the Dallas Cowboys have at wide receiver is pretty enviable. With Michael Gallup heading into the final season of his rookie deal and with perceived needs at other spots, particularly on defense, in theory, it makes sense.

But let’s talk about why the Cowboys shouldn’t trade Michael Gallup.

Though the Cowboys were struggling to win games at the start of the 2020 season. Much of that because the defensive side of the football struggled to get stops, and the offense was turning the ball over early in games. However, the Cowboys’ offense was on a torrid pace, with Dak Prescott under center despite the Cowboys’ injuries along the offensive line.

Michael Gallup, in particular, was on a great pace in the first five games of the season. Before Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury, Gallup had caught 17 passes on 28 targets for 348 yards, was averaging 20 yards per reception and had scored one touchdown. Over the course of a 16 game season, that would project out to 54 catches on 90 targets for 1,114 yards receiving and three touchdowns.

I expect that touchdown pace would have improved as teams began focusing on CeeDee Lamb more in the red zone area.

After Prescott went down, he caught just 42 passes for 495 yards and averaged just 11.79 yards per reception. He had a higher reception pace over the final 11 games, but his yardage pace dropped off considerably with Andy Dalton, Garrett Gilbert, and Ben DiNucci under center.

Of Gallup’s 843 yards receiving during the 2020 season, 41% of that yardage came in the first five games of the year. Even after crediting the 65 yards receiving, Gallup was the beneficiary after Andy Dalton came in at the end of the Giants game. Gallup still accounted for 33% of his production on the season, with Dak Prescott under center.

The reality is, with Dak Prescott under center, Michael Gallup is a 1,100-yard receiver. Over a 24 game span that extends from week 13 of 2018, Gallup’s rookie year, through week five of 2020, his 16 game receiving pace is 65 receptions on 111 targets for 1,105 yards and five touchdowns. That’s 17 yards per reception. That also doesn’t include the two playoff games where he caught eight passes for 137 yards and a touchdown, including a go-ahead score at the end of the half against Seattle in the 2018 Wild Card round or the 118-yard day against the Los Angeles Rams the following week.

Gallup is one of those players that is deceptively good at getting open down the field. He doesn’t have the elite speed of a Tyreek Hill or the dominant catch radius of a DeAndre Hopkins, but he’s very good at getting open deep. We saw it in week one when he beat Jalen Ramsey, the best cornerback in the NFL, down the sideline and looked to have put the Cowboys in a great position to potentially take the lead. The refs saw Gallup push off and not Ramsey grabbing, and the big-time reception came back, and the Cowboys went on to lose in week one of last year. However, that play alone is enough to keep Gallup around, with Dak Prescott coming back from injury in 2021.

Sure, if you don’t move Gallup, the best you can hope for in the 2022 offseason is that he gets a big-time contract on the open market — which I think he will — and the Cowboys get the benefit of a third-round compensatory pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. It’s always better to have better players. Could they get by with Cedrick Wilson as the number three wide receiver in 2020? Sure, and he might even be really good. However, we know that Michael Gallup is really good, and he provides a vertical threat that helps open up the passing game in the short to intermediate part of the field for the Dallas Cowboys.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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  1. Gallup’s rookie contract is ending next year and you can’t pay everybody under the salary cap.
    Cowboys have multiple needs and multiple positions.
    Wide receiver is the only position Cowboys have some depth.
    His value is at his peak as he is very good, though not great.
    If you can get a number 2 or better in draft or if you can get a great cornerback in return, should trade him.

    • You aren’t getting a great cornerback in return because teams don’t trade great cornerbacks.

      If you’re telling me you’d rather have a second-round pick for a wide receiver who is capable of beating Jalen Ramsey down the field and going for 1,100 yards, I’m going to strong disagree with you.

  2. IMO, Gallup is one of the LAST players on this team I would trade. Quietly very effective, very good, clutch type player. One of my favorites on the current roster. Does his job well, no drama, no distractions, no over the top, look at me celebrations. Basically, a great team player. Need MORE like him.

    • 100% agree. I’m always happy when we can find something that we 100% agree on VAM.

      He does all the little things you ask him. Never cries for the football. Works his tail off in his routes and plays physically.

  3. How about all these idiots that keep saying trade Michael Gallup just do everyone else a favor and STHU. We don’t need to trade Michael Gallup we need to resign him while he’s still young. If we need to trade anyone we could trade away Cooper for a day 1 or day 2 pic or a defensive player or both. He’s older and only has a few years left plus if we’re trying to save money against the cap trading him for another defensive player, pick or both would not only save cap space but also give us a needed player, draft pick or both in return while saving a few million in cap space. Gallup could possibly play for another 10 years while Cooper I would give 3-5 years at most. But of course as long as the Jones are in charge they’ll find a way to screw it up like they always have.

  4. IMO I’d try and keep him and trade Cooper and his contract , that way we can still fit Gallup in under cap

    Agree VAM , we need more guys like Gallup , he just goes and balls out , he doesn’t force his QB to throw the ball his way , he doesn’t go out there and showboat when he makes a big play , all around great player and IMO he’d be a number 1 WR for a team if he got a chance , I see Dez Bryant similarities in his game

  5. Definitely agree to keep Gallup and resign him if possible. I disagree with those who want to het rid of Cooper. Cooper is only 26yo, Gallup is 24yo. Cooper has been in the league 6 yrs and has 1000 yards in 5 of those six years. The Raiders misused him one year; it is not because he didn’t come to play. As stated about Gallup, Cooper is no-nonsense, no drama just comes to play. Keep Cooper, Gallup, and Lamb as long as possible.

  6. The reason I said get rid of Cooper , is for one injuries have become a issue for him ,

    2 he’s got a huge contract

    and 3 he just seems to disappear at times when you need him most , IMO when I watch games , there’s too many times where I’m asking “Where’s Cooper ? He even out on the field ?” and whether that’s due to a injury or whatever , you can’t have that happen in crucial points of a game especially from a guy who has the expectation to show up in those important spots like Cooper with is big contract ,

    I like Cooper , nothing wrong with guy except for what I highlighted above which is out of his control , but if I have to choose between him or Gallup going forward , then i’d choose Gallup , maybe they can keep Gallup and Cooper after this year to go along Ceedee moving forward but you never know

    • Cooper “disappears” but still continues to produce even with the likes of Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci, and Garrett Gilbert throwing him the football.

      He’s a great player and the money isn’t an issue.

  7. Keep all three, Open up the offense with four wide outs(I really mean wide) Spread the field, get the defense into a six or seven man box, then you can pass or run. with a hurry-up offense there will be no stopping this team.

  8. On one hand Cooper is the most gifted WR on the team and is capable of breaking out with big games. On the other hand he is like a fine tuned expensive sports car. When he’s not in the shop he looks great. But I agree he is somewhat injury prone and isn’t known to step up in big games.

    Gallup to me is a very good #2 WR. He lacks the consistency of a #1 but that’s not to say he can’t develop into a fringe #1. The problem is he’ll wanna be pd as a true #1. Cooper is their best WR right now but I worry that he is breaking down and might only have a couple more quality years left in him. Cooper has an out in his contract that lets the cowboys move on from him if they desire. Decisions to be made.

    • I agree with you on both guys. Although, I think COoper will still be an effective player because he’s such a savvy route runner. His speed helps, but he does so many of the little things well that he’ll continue to be effective. Even when he’s not 100% he’s still one of the 12 best wide receivers in the NFL.

  9. The out for Cooper I believe kicks in after next year. It could give the cowboys needed cap space or if they decide they can’t count on him to continue to perform at a high level.

    • They’ll only eat $2 million in dead money on Cooper if they decide to part ways with him in 2022 or later, from his signing bonus. I don’t think they will. He’s become a valuable member of the offense and someone Dak trusts.

  10. Some of these people are delusional commenting on here or they haven’t been paying attention the last 20 plus years. You should trade him while you can get good value for him. The Cowboys either overpay someone and then they fail to produce (Zeke) or they let people walk away and get nothing in return. Only player they have payed big bucks to who produces is Cooper and someone said to trade him lmao! The Patriots were successful all those years not only because of Brady but they knew when it was time to trade and acquire draft picks. They can’t pay him and Dak and everyone else they need on defense which needs a complete rebuild. You have two effective TE with Jarwin coming back and as mentioned Cedric Wilson at WR.

    • They aren’t going to pay him. But they also shouldn’t trade him. I don’t think teams see him as someone worth a first or a second-round pick in a trade. It’s probable the best you could get would be a third, in which case, why not wait and see what his free agency market is that could potentially lead to a third round compensatory pick.

  11. Love Gallup as both a player and a person (based on interviews, on-field behavior, etc). But isn’t it really as simple as a choice the ‘Boys will have to make next year between he and Cooper. I’d prefer he remain a part of the team this coming season and if he’s the one to sign elsewhere afterwards, just be happy with a 3rd or 4th round compensatory pick. I wouldn’t trade him unless somebody either offers a better pick than that, or a (disgruntled?) player still in his prime.

    That being said, Gallup the player has to look out for himself. I don’t think he’ll ever be the WR1 here, so it’s likely he’ll get an offer from a team who can sell him that role. If I were his father, I’d be inclined to tell him to leave Dallas and try to make his name elsehwere.

  12. Then Gallup to TEN (I think Corey Davis is a free agent) for Isiah Wilson? That one shouldn’t need to include a pick?

  13. I was calling Gallup “Baby Dez” since we drafted him. I would keep Gallup if it was between him and Coop. He just so physical and getting bigger every year. Him and Dak would’ve tore the league up this year ESPECIALLY with the breakout of CeeDee. Coop been dealing with a lot of injuries yea, but he just had surgery on that ankle so he might be good 2go now. They can make it happen to keep all 3 tho which is what I REALLY WANT. Dak, Gallup, Coop, Lamb, Jarwin, Schultz, Pollard…..bruh

  14. GALLUP is your top downfield threat( for now) CeeDee gone be our WR1 coming soon…Gallup can’t be stopped outside at the Y. Inside ain’t his game but he can do it. Leaves Coop to the slot in the future(which may be as soon as 2 yrs), or odd man out if they can’t pay everybody(unlikely scenario) bc I’ll cut Jarwin and let Schultz ball of it came down to that. Blake Bell as a blocking TE.

  15. I agree Ceedee has the most potential of all 3 , he can play inside the slot , he can play outside the numbers , he can go deep or he can work a slant or dig route and get good yardage , he’s the guy I see being like a D Hop or Adams level type of WR , when Ceedee ascends I still would try and kind of move him and Cooper around , sometimes , have Cooper running in Slot and Ceedee out wide , then other times have Ceedee in slot and have Cooper run wide , I feel if KM can do this , our offense will be DEADLY with Gallup staying at his Y position when he’s out there as well , have Schultz and Jarwin working at TE position , maybe Pitts too ? For those who thinks that’s crazy , the Bucs went into last season with Gronk , OJ Howard , and Cam Brate at TE and they won SB

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