1. Michael Gallup, Wide Receiver
Will McClay and Stephen Jones (sorry, it's not Jerry Jones anymore even if he's the one who talks) have made some great decisions as of late. They were dead-on with the decision to draft Micah Parsons and were right on Tyler Smith as well. Neither pick was highly praised at the time but each looks brilliant now.
They've also been shrewd with free agency and trades. Malik Hooker is one of the great signings and the trades for Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks look even better. As impressive as all this is, not every move they make has been right.
For example, they completely mishandled the wide receiver position in 2022. Knowing that CeeDee Lamb was ready for a WR1 role, the Cowboys elected to trade Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick. Cooper has gone on to be a stud for them and is about to record his second 1,000-yard campaign in as many years.
Dallas claims they had to move on due to salary cap reasons but they were hit with $8 million in dead money — so it's not as if they saved the full $20 million he was owed, which is how they sold it. They also used that money to pay Dalton Schultz $10 million on the franchise tag and then gave Michael Gallup an absurd five-year deal worth $62.5 million.
Gallup did have a 1,000 yard season in 2019 but has been declining since then. He was also coming off a torn ACL so there was no reason to extend him for that amount.
Since signing the deal, Gallup has been a major concern. He had just 424 yards on 39 receptions in 2022 and this year is at 414 yards on 32 catches. He's also recorded just two touchdowns in 2023 and has had some massive drops.
Dallas tried to say they moved on from Cooper to save money but they really just gave the majority of that money to Gallup. Now, they need to move on from him in 2024. Again, they'll take a cap hit, but he's in the way at the point. Nearly any other option — including KaVontae Turpin and Jalen Tolbert — has a higher ceiling.