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Mailbag: Amari's Value? Gallup's New Role?

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With everyone knowing that Amari Cooper was likely to be released, is the trade to Cleveland the best offer the front office was going to get for him? I hate to see Cooper go, because he did a great job for the Cowboys. Do you all feel like his ability is diminishing? How much are we going to miss him? – JEREMY KINCHELOE / VIRGINIA BEACH, VA

David: I was hoping for a fourth-round pick, but trades get complicated by big deals. When the trade goes through, the Browns will be taking on his entire salary – and they also had the leverage of knowing that the Cowboys had a decision to make by the fifth day of the league year. It's hard to get good value in those circumstances. As for your other questions? I don't think his ability is diminishing at all. I'd have loved to run it back for one more year and see if the coaching staff could do a better job of featuring their best receiver. My early guess is that they're going to miss him a lot, but they do have free agency and the draft to address his absence. It's too early to know that answer just yet.

Nick: I think the first sentence of your question is the reason for your other questions. If you knew the Cowboys were going to cut Amari, I'm sure the rest of the NFL did, too. Gone are the days where you can really play your cards close. Everyone knows what's going to happen so getting a fifth-round pick is probably the best you can get. Obviously, the Cowboys wanted a better deal, but there's not one out there, at least for the AFC. I would imagine they wanted to send Cooper out of the NFC. So, from the trade standpoint, I'd imagine that was the best offer on the table. But for the decision to get rid of him, I can't get on board with that. I think Cooper is too good of a player to let go of him right now. We'll see what the cap space allows them to do but it doesn't look like the best decision to me.

What are we to make of this Michael Gallup contract? Do they view him as their No. 1 receiver moving forward? What does the rest of the receiver corps look like? And more importantly, what's Gallup's outlook for recovery after tearing an ACL in January? – WALTER P. / CHATTANOOGA, TN

David: The Cowboys are making two things obvious: No. 1, they think CeeDee Lamb can step up and grab that Alpha receiver role, and that Gallup can fill in well behind him for a smaller cost than Amari Cooper. No. 2, I imagine they think this draft is deep at receiver, and they can once again find a quality contributor at the fraction of the cost. They need to, anyway. Because while I'm confident in Gallup's health in the long-term, there's a very real chance he misses training camp - if not a regular season game or two.

Nick: This move is interesting because of your last question. I don't think Gallup is going to be ready for the start of training camp. I don't know that – other than just the history of ACL injuries and the timetable for a return. He didn't have surgery until February so to think he'll be ready for the season seems like a long shot. The overall deal is probably more like a 3-year deal if I had to guess. I haven't seen the structure but I bet it's pretty cap-friendly right now and then increases dramatically in the final three years. But no, I don't think Gallup is a No. 1 receiver. I think that role is for CeeDee Lamb and I wouldn't be surprised if receiver is picked in the top two selections in the draft now.

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