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Cowboys Won't Give New Contracts to Michael Gallup, Randy Gregory, UFAs Before 2022

Blake SchusterContributor IAugust 8, 2021

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys won't be offering new deals to wideout Michael Gallup and defensive end Randy Gregory just yet as both players enter their final year under contract.

According to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys aren't interested in offering new deals to any pending unrestricted free agents at this point, choosing instead to see how the season plays out:

"Wide receiver Michael Gallup and defensive end Randy Gregory are among the Dallas players entering the final season of their contract. Speaking on background, two Cowboys officials said that the team won’t extend either before this season — or for that matter, any other impending unrestricted free agent. Such talks aren’t expected to occur until early 2022.
"The Cowboys see dust in the air with several players’ futures. They want to wait for it to settle."

Gregory has been a Cowboys mainstay since the club drafted him No. 60 overall in 2015 and provides solid depth on the defensive line. Gallup, meanwhile, has started 35 of 46 games for Dallas. The Cowboys drafted him No. 81 overall in 2018. 

Along with Gallup and Gregory, notable Cowboys players on expiring contracts include linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, tight end Dalton Schultz, defensive end Dorance Armstrong, safety Keanu Neal and guard Connor Williams.

According to Spotrac, Dallas has just 56 players under contract for the 2022 season with $235.7 million in cap space already allocated. Quarterback Dak Prescott ($33.2 million), defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence ($27 million), wideout Amari Cooper ($22 million) and guard Zack Martin ($20.2 million) account for 49.2 percent of the team's total cap next year. 

It's understandable the Cowboys would take a "wait-and-see" approach given the constraints the team is already under, but that course of action comes with its own risks. 

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Should any of those pending UFAs have a breakout year, they could become too expensive for Dallas to retain. As much as that's a problem the Cowboys would love to have, it's a problem nonetheless. 

Having an electric wideout in CeeDee Lamb still on a rookie deal makes things a bit easier for the front office should Gallup command a significant raise next year, but drafting a generational talent every year isn't the most reliable plan of action.

The Cowboys took a similar approach with Prescott's extension, twice using the franchise tag before finally negotiating a four-year, $160 million deal this offseason. With how the team has already allocated nearly half of its salary cap in 2022, there may not be many better alternatives for the front office to take with pending UFAs before Week 1. 

  

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