The Cowboys might have one of the deepest wide receiver rooms in the NFL. With standout talent Amari Cooper, sophomore season Ceedee Lamb, and Michael Gallup, who is about to enter the 4th campaign of his career. Gallup was drafted in the third round back in 2018, and has been a key contributor to the Cowboys offence ever since. With 14 touchdowns in 3 seasons to his name, and a significant 2019 season resulted in him passing the 1000 yard receiving mark, and Gallup finished that year with 1,107 yards and 6 TDs.
When the draft came around in the 2020 off season, the Cowboys would have never imagined that Ceedee Lamb would be available to them in the 17 spot of the first round. Of course, none of us watching could have imagined it either. The Raiders, in true Raider fashion, went in a different direction to the consensus top receiver of the class, and while they had the pick of the litter, and all receivers available to them, they chose the speedy option in Henry Ruggs. Jerry Jeudy out of Alabama, and Ceedee from Oklahoma, were widely considered the top two pass catchers in the draft, and by the mid teens neither had been drafted. Jeudy was selected 15th by the Denver Broncos, and as the Cowboys turn on the clock came around, Ceedee Lamb was still available.
While there might have been pieces the Cowboys could have done with in other areas, there’s a lot to be said for simply drafting top talent if it falls into your lap, you can worry about the rest later. That’s exactly what Dallas did. There was no way they were going to let a talent like Ceedee Lamb pass them by, and looking at his rookie season, in which he totalled 935 yards and 5 touchdowns, he’s every bit as advertised. Lamb ran 93% of his routes out of the slot this past year, while Cooper and Gallup occupied the outside. But it feels like that might be about to change.
Lamb is having a very impressive training camp, with highlights appearing on social media what feels like daily. The hype around him to explode onto the scene in his second season is tremendously loud, but what does that mean for Gallup?
Well in preseason game 1, Ceedee Lamb took 11 of 11 snaps on the outside. Where as Michael Gallup took 7 of his 11 from the slot. This marks a significant change for both Lamb & Gallup, who has averaged only 10% of his snaps from the slot in the three years he’s been in Dallas so far. The Cowboys seem to have made a decision that they can squeeze even more out of Ceedee Lamb if they line him up outside, which for Michael Gallup means either an adjustment to the slot, or a new franchise…
Stick or Twist?
Approaching the last year of his contract, the young talent could be on the move. With Amari Cooper on a $20M salary, and Ceedee Lamb a first round draft pick, it does seem like Gallup would be the one to move if Dallas decided to shift somebody. Either they move him now and get a return, with a new team bringing him in with a look to signing him to a new contract before he hits free agency next spring, or they likely lose him in free agency for nothing.
There are certainly teams around the league who would be interested in Michael Gallups services. This is a young man who has averaged over 850 yards a season while never being the designated number one target. Teams such as the Detroit Lions, who don’t have an out and out number 1 receiver right now, could look to somebody like Gallup for a season and see how he fares as the main guy. They would then have the option to try and work a contract with him before he hits the open market. Of course, the risk is always that you don’t come to that agreement, and essentially made a trade for a one year mercenary. But it’s that possibility that means the trade value isn’t too high, and may attract teams to come calling.
There’s no harm in Gallup staying this year, and I’d expect he’ll want to put on a show regardless to earn himself a major pay day, whether that be with the Cowboys, or with another franchise. I can’t see Dallas putting too much on the table for him with what they already have invested in Amari Cooper, that’s the sticking point, and it’ll be an interesting one to monitor over the coming weeks!
One thing we do know is that Dallas will not be trying to extend Michael Gallups contract during the season, they’ve made that much clear. So either all three feature and we get to witness one last dance for this excellent trio, or something else might be on the cards…
Michael Gallup Trade? Michael Gallup Trade? Michael Gallup Trade?