5 Cowboys on Thin Ice With Mike McCarthy Staying in Dallas

Five Cowboys who are on thin ice with head coach Mike McCarthy needing to make changes in his return to Dallas.

Sep 17, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Deuce Vaughn (42) runs the ball in
Sep 17, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Deuce Vaughn (42) runs the ball in / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Michael Gallup

I think it's safe to call wide receiver Michael Gallup one of the biggest disappointments in Dallas this past season.

Following a 2022 campaign where he was clearly still working himself back to 100% after his ACL tear, there was optimism Gallup would regain the form that made the Cowboys confident in handing him a big-money extension.

Instead, Gallup's production continued to be mediocre. Despite Dallas putting even more of an emphasis on the passing game, the wideout finished with a meager 34 receptions, 418 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Even worse, Gallup suited up in all 17 contests this year, and his numbers across the board were still lower than his hampered 2022 production (39/424/4 in 14 games).

Gallup putting up average WR3 stats isn't good enough when he's being paid like a clear-cut No. 2 on his five-year, $57 mllion extension. That contract does present a possible out for this upcoming season, though. The Colorado State product would only cost $4.35 million in dead cap space if he's designated as a post-June 1 cut, compared to just over $13 million if released normally before that date.

Spending wisely is one of the biggest things a contender can do when balancing limited cap space and a roster full of highly paid stars. Gallup doesn't provide anything that couldn't be cheaply replaced, either by a veteran free agent or a 2024 draft pick.

McCarthy would be smart to consider if a move here could help better optimize his personnel for next season.