ESPN Urges Cowboys to Find ‘Change of Scenery’ for Struggling WR - Sport News

ESPN Urges Cowboys to Find ‘Change of Scenery’ for Struggling WR

If anyone from the 2023 Cowboys appeared in line for a change of scenery, the most likely candidate would have been coach Mike McCarthy. But McCarthy is back in Dallas and many of the team’s frontline players will be back, too. But one that should, and most likely will, find himself elsewhere in 2024 is the Cowboys’ Michael Gallup, especially if ESPN has its way.

Cowboys' Michael Gallup

In an article titled, “32 NFL players who need a change of scenery this offseason,” ESPN Cowboys writer Todd Archer picked Gallup as the guy who most needs new surroundings to rescue his NFL career.

Here’s Archer’s case for dumping Gallup: “The Cowboys signed Gallup to a five-year, $57.5 million deal in 2022, knowing he was coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but it hasn’t worked out. He caught 39 passes in 2022 and 34 passes in 2023, when his health was no longer a problem. The Cowboys are looking at a deal that would make CeeDee Lamb one of the highest-paid receivers this offseason and will need all the cap room they can get.

“On the fifth day of the league year, $4 million of Gallup’s $8.5 million base salary becomes guaranteed, so a decision on his future will need to be made quickly.”

Cowboys’ Michael Gallup Has Struggled Since ACL Surgery

Indeed, the Cowboys have little but regret to show for the mega-contract they gave to Gallup in 2022. He had two very productive seasons in 2019 and 2020, when he combined for 1,950 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns, but has averaged just 2.4 catches and 27.2 yards per game in the two seasons since. The Cowboys have the opportunity to save some money on Gallup’s deal this year, and need to take advantage.

If there is a hangup, though, Archer pointed out that Gallup did put forth a very good outing in the playoff loss against the Packers.

Wrote Archer: “The one tricky part: Gallup had his first 100-yard game since the knee injury in the playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. Would that provide enough promise to keep him?”

Now, that would require some rose-colored-glasses logic, because most anyone who saw that game would think that it had zero redeeming qualities for the Cowboys. It’s very unlikely that Gallup put up big numbers in that game because he is on the verge of a renaissance.

It’s a lot more likely he put up big numbers because the Cowboys were in an all-out passing attack after falling behind, 27-0, and the Packers defense was playing soft to prevent big plays.

What’s Next for Dallas Receivers?

What could be intriguing about the Cowboys’ situation with Gallup is not so much getting rid of him, but what they do next with the receivers room. Yes, Lamb needs a new deal and it is expected he will come away with a fat new extension. But beyond that?

Brandin Cooks is 30 years old and heading into his 11th season, coming off what could arguably be the least-productive season of his career. The Cowboys will ask more of Jalen Tolbert, the team’s 2022 third-round pick, but there has been little sign that he’s up to the task. Tolbert played in all 17 games but had just 22 catches and 268 yards.

Is there an affordable replacement for Gallup on the market? Could the Cowboys take a draft risk in what is supposed to be a deep receiver class and use their first-rounder on one? Is there a trade to be made?

The Cowboys have an issue at wide receiver, and it needs fixing. But the solution starts with cutting off Gallup.

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