Cowboys Rumors: 'Money Crunch' May Lead to Exit of Amari Cooper or Michael Gallup

Adam WellsAugust 13, 2021

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (19) celebrates his touchdown with teammate wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

The Dallas Cowboys have a deep collection of talent at wide receiver, but the realities of the NFL salary cap mean that group could get broken up soon. 

Per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the upcoming "money crunch" for the Cowboys could mean that either Michael Gallup or Amari Cooper aren't back in 2022. 

Cooper is just one year removed from receiving a lucrative new deal from the Cowboys. He signed a five-year, $100 million contract in March 2020 that includes $60 million guaranteed. 

Gallup has a $2.44 million base salary in 2021, the final season of his original four-year rookie contract. 

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has been liberal about handing out long-term extensions to players in recent years. 

Ezekiel Elliott became the highest-paid running back in the NFL two years ago. He signed a six-year, $90 million extension before the start of the 2019 season. That came after DeMarcus Lawrence re-signed for five years and $105 million

Dak Prescott finally got a long-term deal done this offseason when he signed a four-year contract worth up to $160 million. 

Per Spotrac, the Cowboys already have more than $230 million in salary commitments for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. 

Cooper's deal is structured so the Cowboys would only take a $6 million dead cap hit if he is traded or released before the start of next season. 

CeeDee Lamb, Dallas' first-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft, could assume the role as the No. 1 wide receiver this season after racking up 935 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie.

If Lamb continues to ascend, parting with either Gallup or Cooper wouldn't hurt the Cowboys offense too much going forward. 

Cooper has posted at least 1,100 receiving yards in each of his two full seasons with the Cowboys. Gallup recorded 1,107 yards in 2019 and has been a big-play weapon with 15.6 yards per reception in 46 career games.