Should, or could the Cowboys look to trade Michael Gallup to get a Top 40 draft pick and a conditional 2022 pick? I think highly of Gallup, but by this time next year his price will prove to be too rich to keep him. Jets, Titans, and the Ravens come to mind as possible targets. — JAMES HOBSON / CHEYENNE, WY
David: I've thought about this a lot since the season ended, and I'm with you. I love Michael Gallup, but he might price himself out of a second contract here in Dallas. If the front office can deal him and draft his replacement this spring, I'm all for it. The only problem is that his contract status might make it hard to get full value for him, as teams typically don't love trading for guys with just one year on their contracts. But if someone was willing to trade a second or third-round pick to get him, I'd have to heavily consider it.
Rob: I understand the long-term logic behind the question. As good as Michael Gallup is (and he's getting better) there's only so much teams can invest at the receiver position, and even a franchise tag next year would not be cap-friendly (it's $16.5 million at WR this year). But the offense is the Cowboys' biggest strength and their best chance at making the playoffs next season. Why weaken that strength for a draft pick who may or may not help you much at all this year? By trying to re-sign Dak, the club is clearly in win-now mode despite 6-10 last year. I just have a hard time buying into a scenario where you sign Dak and then say, "Hey, let's go win a Super Bowl. By the way, one of your best receivers plays for someone else now."
Other than "wanting to be a Cowboy for life," isn't it in Dak's best interests to play another year on the franchise tag and hit free agency next year? Wouldn't that maximize his earning potential? He's so close to the gold pot at the end of the rainbow, you would think at this point he'd rather just be a free agent next year and see who the highest bidder/best situation is. Could that be a reason this deal hasn't gotten done? — AUSTIN D. / PHOENIX, AZ
David: That's definitely something to consider. If Dak plays the 2021 season on the franchise tag, then he'll have pocketed roughly $69 million for two years of work – and then, having already made that much money, he'll be free to pursue a gigantic, long-term contract in 2022. Dak and his representatives are definitely aware of that, and that's why they're not likely to agree to a deal unless it feels right to them. It feels strange to say about a guy coming off a major injury, but Dak seems to have all the leverage in this situation.
Rob: I guess the counter to that is Dak has an opportunity to sign this offseason and get long-term security now (like, $100 million plus guaranteed or whatever it might be, based on other QB contracts) instead of going another season on a one-year deal after that horrible injury last year. All that said, he has an unshakeable belief in himself and has been willing to wait for the right deal before — understandably so. I just think this seems like the right time for both sides to finish this negotiation. A long-term deal would allow the Cowboys to spread out the money for some needed cap relief, and Dak wouldn't have to wait another 12 months for a massive payday. Clearly, it has to be something both sides are happy with, though.