The Dallas Cowboys' wide receiver room could be a real strength this season after it was a hindrance for most of 2022.
Following the arrival of Brandin Cooks and with Jalen Tolbert dominating training camp and preseason after a disappointing rookie year, the Cowboys could be four deep at the position for the first time since fans can remember.
The fact Cooks has elevated Tolbert makes the trade all the more worthwhile.
One could make the case that Tolbert is the X-factor of the group, but Michael Gallup is more deserving of that mantle. After all, fans have seen Gallup go for 1,100 yards in a season. Tolbert is still an unproven commodity.
You know what would derail all the excitement around the WR room? Trading Gallup as Bleacher Report's Matt Holden suggested.
The Cowboys would be crazy to trade Michael Gallup
Holden is right to question Gallup's long-term future in Dallas, but he also believes Tolbert's emergence makes Gallup expendable following the addition of Cooks.
"Since Dallas now has two other options to serve as a second or third target behind CeeDee Lamb, Gallup is even more expendable. His contract is also team friendly as he's signed through 2026 but it also includes a potential out after this season, increasing his value on the market."
There's a lot to unpack here.
For starters, Tolbert doesn't make Gallup expendable. While the 2022 third-round pick seems primed for a bounce-back year, he caught two passes for 12 yards as a rookie. He shouldn't be trusted as anything more than the fourth receiver behind CeeDee Lamb, Cooks and Gallup, so let's put that argument to rest.
Additionally, Gallup's contract isn't team-friendly. Trading the 27-year-old would cost the Cowboys $4.35 million in dead cap and save $2.42 against the salary cap. It'd be small, but Dallas would take a loss if it traded Gallup, and whatever they got in return -- likely a fourth-round pick -- wouldn't justify the move.
The possibility of trading Gallup ended when Dallas restructured his contract this offseason. Next year's a different story. According to Over The Cap, the Cowboys would save $9.5 million and inherit just $4.35 million in dead money as there's no guaranteed money left on Gallup's deal after 2023.
Forget the particulars of Gallup's contract, though.
Gallup is finally healthy and confident following ACL surgery. Trading him for a future pick just as he finally looks ready to contribute consistently again would make little sense for a team with Super Bowl aspirations.
It would also elevate Tolbert to WR3 and one of Jalen Brooks, Simi Fehoko or Dennis Houston to WR4, which would put the Cowboys right back where they were last year, albeit with a better secondary receiver behind Lamb.
It's a lot more likely that Dallas trades a player on the roster bubble than a player they're counting on to produce week in and week out.