5 moves the Cowboys can make to free up $70 million in cap space

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders
Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders / Kara Durrette/GettyImages
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By trading for Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks last offseason, the Dallas Cowboys made everyone believe they were all in to win a Super Bowl. They ended up four wins short and to add insult to injury, they were embarrassed at home in the first round of the playoffs.

The Cowboys don't have a hefty bill to compound the failure. but they're still $21 million over next season's projected salary cap, per Over The Cap. Luckily, the front office hasn't made any cap-crunching maneuvers yet and it's not like they have a twine of awful contracts on the books.

As always, there are multiple pathways for Dallas to not only become cap-compliant, but get significantly under the projected number in order to spend big. With five simple moves the Cowboys can ascend up the cap rankings.

5. Release Michael Gallup ($9.5 million)

The writing's been on the wall with Gallup for two seasons now. He might have been released last offseason if his contract allowed it. The Cowboys ruined any chance of that by restructuring his deal, but they finally have an out this offseason in the form of $9.5 million if they designate him as a post-June 1 cut.

Simply put, Gallup is making WR2 money to be the team's WR4. Second-year man Jalen Tolbert leapfrogged Gallup on the depth chart midseason. It's unfortunate, but Gallup hasn't been the same player since his ACL tear.

Among 109 qualified receivers this season, Gallup ranked 103rd in "open" rating, which essentially quantifies separation ability. Furthermore, the former third-round pick managed fewer receiving yards in 13 games this year than he did in 11 games in 2022 and in eight games in 2021.

Gallup's been on a downward trajectory since his breakout 2019 season. He failed to step up as the team's WR2 last season post-Amari Cooper trade and was such a net negative in 2023 that he was effectively benched despite getting ample chances early in the season to prove himself.