It’s a great time for the Dallas Cowboys to re-sign Michael Gallup

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Devastation struck when Michael Gallup, a four-year Dallas Cowboys receiver, fell to the turf in pain late in the first half on Sunday. Catching what would be his last pass of the season, Gallup tore his ACL in what could possibly be his last play as a Cowboy.

Set to hit free agency in March, Gallup was always likely to leave this offseason. Since drafting Gallup in the third round of the 2018 Draft, the Dallas Cowboys have invested heavily in the WR position. At the cost of two first round picks, Dallas has added Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb to the Dallas WR room, both players firmly positioned above Gallup in the hierarchy.

Playing on his rookie deal, Gallup gave the Dallas Cowboys an embarrassment of riches at the WR position. He gave the offense that extra edge opponents struggled to deal with. He gave them depth and versatility as well.

But playing on a fair-market second contract he would become a luxury the Dallas Cowboys could no longer afford.

It would benefit the Dallas Cowboys as well as Michael Gallup to re-sign for 1-2 more years.

Devoting that much money and resources to one position group inevitably comes at the cost of other position groups. The Dallas Cowboys, already overinvested in the offense, need to cut funds from that side of the ball – not syphon more in its direction.

But the injury changes things.

ACL injuries typically take between 9-12 months to come back from. So it’s safe to say Michael Gallup is not going to the hot commodity on the free agent market that we’d thought he’d be. He’ll most likely miss at least the first half of the 2022 NFL season and have to ease in with his new team mid-campaign.

It’s highly unlikely someone signs Michael Gallup to play WR1 or WR2 (which was his expected projection) if he’s going to miss most of his first season. Nope. The injury has basically capped his next deal at a WR3, at best.

With the market price now in the cellar, Dallas can now afford the WR they know and love since money was the main reason they couldn’t keep him in the first place.  The Dallas Cowboys should be able to sign him to a one or two year bridge deal that pushes free agency to 2023 or 2024. They get have Gallup for next year’s stretch run (and beyond) and don’t have to break the bank to do it.

Why not just cut bait and start fresh with a more sustainable and available solution? Because Michael Gallup is special…

We can debate whether or not Gallup has WR1 potential or not but I’d rather focus on what we know – Michael Gallup has a tremendous feel for the ball and holds special big play skills other players just don’t possess (see also the clip above).

His ability to adjust mid-air and secure key receptions by using his naturally bestowed aerial gymnastics, is a sight to behold and rare.  He takes the Dallas Cowboys offense to a new level and he’s not easily replaced.

Getting him back late next year will not be a bad thing, even if another player steps up to that WR3 role in Gallup’s stead. Gallup offers a useful skillset in any scenario.

Resigning to a one-year minimum deal is good for Michael Gallup as well:

  1. Gallup gets to recover and rehab in a familiar place with familiar faces.
  2. Gallup gets a financial bridge to carry him through the process and will hit free agency as a healthy and proven weapon.
  3. When ready, he can slide into a familiar offense and pick up where he left off. There won’t be an adjustment period with a new team, new offense, new QB, etc…

For roughly a year we’ve been running through “would you rather” scenarios that force you to pick from free agents like Dalton Schultz, Connor Williams, and Michael Gallup (among others). And for a year we’ve talked about how Gallup was likely priced out of Dallas’ market. But now it seems Schultz is the unaffordable piece and re-signing Gallup won’t come at the cost of anyone given his injury situation.

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If I’m the Dallas Cowboys I’m talking to Michael representatives now. Not only to offer gratitude for his play and appreciation for his untimely sacrifice, but also to offer a bridge and get him back to where he should be in free agency. It’s a sad day, for sure, but there’s a way to deal with it that could be a win-win for both parties.