Cowboys Could Sign 2-Time All-Pro as Michael Gallup Replacement

Cowboys Could Sign 2-Time All-Pro as Michael Gallup Replacement

The Dallas Cowboys seem set to reload at wide receiver, with the future of Michael Gallup and other receivers in question. Other than CeeDee Lamb, no one else in the receiver group seems like a lock to make the roster.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup

In fact, it appears that Gallup is one of the team’s top cut candidates due to his salary. If Dallas looks for a proper replacement, SI.com’s Timm Hamm thinks they should consider New Orleans Saints free agent Michael Thomas.

“But as a rejuvenation project on the cheap? [Michael Thomas’] role with the Cowboys could likely be much different than it was in New Orleans,” Hamm wrote on March 3. “Thomas probably wouldn’t see many double teams because of the presence of CeeDee Lamb. He was expected to carry the Saints’ offense and that would not be the case in Dallas… If the Cowboys choose to go the Thomas way in free agency, it could be just what both the player and the team need to get over the hump.”

The prospect of getting a two-time All-Pro while he’s down on his luck is enticing. Thomas was one of the dominant receivers of the late 2010s. But he is still looking for his return to the top, and that could happen in Dallas.

Michael Thomas’ Time with Saints Appears to Be Over

As a second-round pick out of Ohio State in 2016, Thomas had plenty of hype. But unlike some highly-touted talents, it took very little time for him to get adjusted to the NFL.

As Pro Football Reference shows, Thomas totaled 1137 yards and 9 TDs as a rookie with the Saints. That would be the first of four consecutive 1000-yard seasons though, as his campaigns in 2018 and 2019 were even more impressive.

After a league-leading 125 receptions and 1405 yards for the Saints in 2018, Thomas won the AP’s Offensive Player of the Year award in 2019 with 149 receptions for 1725 yards and 9 touchdowns, with the reception total being an NFL record.

However, injuries and other issues have disrupted his career. Thomas missed the entirety of the 2021 season. Further, he has not played more than 10 games in a season since 2019. While he is still clearly viable at the top level, keeping him on the field is the risk factor.

How Much Cowboys Can Save with Michael Gallup Release

Of all the recent extensions the Cowboys have handed out, the Gallup deal has aged the worst. After a standout stretch in 2019 and 2020, Dallas handed the receiver a $57.5 million contract.

In the years since, the 27-year-old has failed to total more than 500 yards or 5 touchdowns in a season. That is partially due to unfortunate injuries, but the Cowboys can’t justify paying him star money when he’s not producing.

Per Spotrac, Gallup still has three years remaining on his deal, with his lowest yearly cap hit being in 2024 at $13.85 million. Cutting him would save $9.5 million toward the 2024 cap, while freeing up $11.5 million in 2025 and 2026.

That being said, Dallas does have to deal with dead cap. Gallup’s deal has $13.05 million of guaranteed money yet to be paid out, but that’s a fraction of what they will save.

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