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Michael Gallup ‘unlikely’ to return to Dallas Cowboys in 2022

Matt Johnson

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The Dallas Cowboys found a gem in the 2018 NFL Draft, landing wide receiver Michael Gallup in Round 3. As Gallup prepares for his fourth NFL season, this could be his last year in Dallas.

Gallup, drafted out of Colorado State, quickly found success as a rookie. He finished the 2018 season with 507 receiving yards and averaged 15.4 yards per catch, quickly earning the trust of Dak Prescott. Expectations were set even higher for the 6-foot-1 wide receiver the following season and he delivered.

After hauling in 66 catches for 1,107 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 14 games, Gallup looked like the Cowboys’ No. 2 receiver of the future. Fans were excited about the receiving duo of Gallup and Amari Cooper, with the real potential of having a pair of 1,000-yard receivers every season.

Tim Tebow is now playing tight end for the Jaguars.

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But the Cowboys’ long-term plans at the position changed in the 2020 NFL Draft. When CeeDee Lamb fell right to Dallas, the front office struck quickly and selected him. It was a significant upgrade for the offense, creating one of the NFL’s best receiving corps, but may have also served as a signal that Gallup’s tenure would draw to a close.

The Athletic’s Jon Machota wrote in a mailbag that it’s unlikely Gallup is back on the Cowboys roster next season. With the presence of Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, the team just wouldn’t have the necessary room or need to sign him to a huge contract.

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If Gallup leaves in free agency, it won’t be due to a lack of interest from the Cowboys. Dallas knows what he is capable of, especially when this offense is clicking and Prescott is under center.

  • Michael Gallup stats (w/ Dak Prescott): 116 receptions, 1,962 receiving yards, 9.3 yards per target, nine touchdowns

Even with the NFL salary cap rising next season, the Cowboys are projected to be $24 million over the limit. Even after contract restructures and releases, there won’t be enough flexibility to retain Gallup. NFL teams recognize how talented he is and more than one club will be happy to pay him like a great No. 2 receiver.

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Gallup’s name has surfaced in trade rumors before, but it’s unlikely he is dealt unless things get off to a rocky start and this team is out of contention. Fans can look forward to another season of strong production from Gallup and then await the 2023 compensatory pick Dallas will receive a year after he signs.