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Cowboys WR Michael Gallup on upcoming contract negotiations: “It’s up in the air, but I want to stay.”

Could Michael Gallup stick around for 2022?

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San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

All focus right now is on the 2021 Dallas Cowboys and the success that they will hopefully have this year. Such has been the case really since Dak Prescott was injured in Week 5 of last season. The Cowboys started off the 2020 season in a bit of a funk, but their offense was producing some ridiculous numbers. There are a number of reasons to believe in the Dallas offense and obviously the main ones have to do with the talent on it like Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, and the offensive line.

Also in that mix is wide receiver Michael Gallup, one of the more underrated players in the National Football League. Gallup has come on strong since his sophomore season in 2019 when he had over 1,100 yards receiving. Gallup’s ascension within the Cowboys is something that many fans have noted the importance of, so much so that when his name was floated out as a possible piece that the team could use to acquire Jamal Adams last year, many people scoffed at the idea noting his worth exceeded that which even Adams could provide.

Ultimately football is a business as many have said which means that the conversation is a bit different this year considering that Michael Gallup is entering a contract year and that Dallas also has a future superstar wide receiver on the team in CeeDee Lamb.

Michael Gallup on upcoming contract negotiations: “It’s up in the air, but I want to stay.”

It isn’t exactly a foreign idea to suggest that the Cowboys could trade Michael Gallup in 2021. As noted this is the final year of his rookie contract and they seemingly have future options at wide receiver in Lamb and Amari Cooper (if they decide to keep him in 2022). We have discussed this before.

Many different Cowboys players have had to answer questions about their contract situation with the team and Michael Gallup is the latest to face that rite of passage. During an interview with Good Morning Football on Monday he was asked about his status and noted that he would love to stay in Dallas.

”You’re obviously going to think about it, but you can’t really do anything about it except go out on the field and do what you’re supposed to do,” Gallup said of playing out the final year of his deal. “You’re not going to get that contract if you don’t do what you’re supposed to on the field first. I think, one thing to think about, you can’t talk anything into the future. You’ve just got to do what you’re supposed to do right now. For me, it’s just going out there helping this club win ball games, have fun doing it. Obviously, I’d love to stay here, love to be in Dallas, love the community, love the city, love the fans, so it’s up in the air, but I want to be right here. So we’ll see.”

Saying “we’ll see” to questions about contract situations is just about the best way that a player can handle it so it isn’t shocking to see this answer from Gallup. He is certainly correct in that what happens on the field is what most dictates how inflated pocket books get, but performing has never been an issue for Gallup.

When we last discussed the idea of a potential trade involving Gallup, a second-round pick was floated out as possible compensation (The Athletic’s Bob Sturm discussed the idea in greater detail when assessing the possibility of Kyle Pitts to the Cowboys in the run-up to the 2021 NFL Draft). We are just one day removed from the Tennessee Titans trading for star wide receiver Julio Jones, and they gave up a second-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons in the process and then some.

Tennessee Titans receive:

  • Julio Jones
  • Atlanta’s 2023 6th-round pick

Atlanta Falcons receive:

  • Tennessee’s 2022 2nd-round pick
  • Tennessee’s 2023 4th-round pick

The Julio Jones situation is hardly an apples-to-apples comparison for the Cowboys and a potential Michael Gallup trade. Jones is an incredibly accomplished wide receiver who will one day be debated on for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but in our present moment he is 32 years old and the acquiring team ultimately had to take on his $15.3M salary for this season. Gallup is just entering his prime years age-wise and at present moment has a 2021 salary of $2.4M, plus if he were to leave the team trading for him in 2022 they could potentially acquire a 2023 compensatory pick (which also obviously applies to the Cowboys if they hold on to him).

There is logic to the idea of the Cowboys trading Michael Gallup, especially if they don’t think that they will re-sign him next offseason. As we have noted before, though, the Cowboys might be waiting this season out to see who outperforms the other between Gallup and Amari Cooper before they ultimately choose to side with the winner (Dallas can get out of Amari Cooper’s contract next season and only eat $6M in the process) to pair with Lamb.

How the group performs will give us a lot of answers this season and it seems like Gallup is at least confident in that. He noted in the same interview that the team’s offense should be rather prolific in 2021.

“I think the sky’s the limit for us,” he said. “We said that last year. Obviously, we had some injuries on the team and stuff like that. We’re already running out the gate right now, it’s just OTAs. I think we can explode. We can do what we need to do out here on the field and just kill it. I don’t see anybody stopping us.”

The key to picking up where they left off is Prescott returning from a devastating injury. By all accounts, the 27-year-old QB is back to normal.

“Dak looks like the same old Dak, ready to get out there, ready to be a leader,” Gallup said. “He just has that little thing to him. Every time you see him, you just want to make sure you’re doing everything right for him. He’s a great dude on and off the field, coming out here after his injury, after his contract. He’s the same old dude. Ain’t nothing changed about him except he just wants to play now. Props to him. Everything he’s done, he’s earned. Just an amazing player.”

The contract things will generally take care of themselves in the NFL, especially if a team has a lot of success. Ideally the Cowboys will do that in 2021 and can figure out the rest with a sixth Lombardi Trophy on their shelves.