(Editor's Note: Over the next month, the staff of DallasCowboys.com is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into 2021. Today, we'll ask the staff to predict the future for Michael Gallup.)
FRISCO, Texas – As soon as the Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb in the first round back in 2020, we knew this question would eventually surface.
And here we are, about to start the 2021 season and the Cowboys find themselves with a good "problem" to have – three star quality receivers that could potentially be No. 1 players on other squads.
With Michael Gallup becoming a free agent at the end of the season, it begs the question as to just what will happen with him.
Our writers discuss his future in today's question of the day.
12) What The Future Holds For Michael Gallup?
David Helman: We've covered this as thoroughly as possible, and now we're just going to have to wait and see. But if I had to guess, I don't think the Cowboys can afford to franchise Gallup, and I also don't think they can compete with the offers he'll see on the open market. I know we've talked about the possibility of cutting or trading Amari Cooper and keeping Gallup – but I'm not sure enough people respect the fact that Amari Cooper just turned 27 and is one of the 10 best receivers in football. I'm not ready to part ways with that, unless something crazy happens this season. I respect Gallup's gam tremendously, but this is a business and I'm guessing that's why he'll be playing elsewhere in 2022.
Kyle Youmans: It's a pretty lame answer to a really good question, but I think this will be really clear after the 2021 season comes to a close. Will Gallup have the type of season he did in 2019 and earn his way to a big-money contract from the Cowboys or another team? Or will he be third in the pecking order for a second year in a row behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb? Either way, there is a big chance for Gallup on the table entering the final year of his rookie deal, especially when looking at other wide receiver deals signed this offseason. On the long-term scale, Corey Davis signed a 3-year, $37.5 million contract with the Jets and Curtis Samuel signed for 3-years and $35.5 million in Washington. Each of which are around the deals that Gallup would earn should he have a big season with the return of Dak Prescott. Short-term wise, JuJu Smith-Schuster signed a one year prove it deal to stay with Pittsburgh after a rough 2020, something we could see for Gallup should he have similar production.
Rob Phillips: I agree with the popular stance that it'll be hard to pay Gallup, Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb (still on his rookie deal) big money a year from now. That's one of those good problems/tough decisions for the Cowboys' front office. I'll say this: I would not rule out a new deal for Gallup at some point. A lot of people thought the Cowboys couldn't fit a new deal for La'el Collins under the cap with so much money already committed to the offensive line, but it happened. The good news is the Cowboys don't have to worry about next year until next year. And if you've ever suggested they should consider moving on from Gallup a year early because they won't be able to pay him, sorry, I 100% disagree with you. Gallup's presence is big for Dak Prescott in his comeback season, and again, I wouldn't rule out a new contract for the talented wideout at some point.