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The Cowboys cut Michael Gallup and promote Jalen Tolbert?

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Michael Gallup #13 of the Dallas Cowboys walks off of the field after an NFL football game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on November 12, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Jalen Tolbert’s progress in training camp has been a feel-good story for the franchise, and as such, he has been rewarded with a larger role in Texas Coast’s Offense. Mike McCarthy. And Tolbert’s performance could have an impact on fellow receiver Michael Gallup.

Tolbert saw a dramatic increase in his snap count from his rookie season (89 snaps to 477), as he occasionally took some of Gallup’s snaps on offense due to the six-year veteran’s poor performance. In his second season, Tolbert would finish with 268 receiving yards and two touchdowns on his 22 receptions, a major improvement from his rookie season.

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As for Gallup, who never regained his 2019 form, he was only able to collect 418 receiving yards and two touchdowns on his 34 receptions. While his stats could be a reason why Gallup could leave, as they have been declining year over year since 2019, his contract situation combined with Tolbert’s rise could lead to his phasing out.Given the Cowboys’ current salary cap and Gallup’s salary cap hit of $13.8 million next year, a decision could be made.

The franchise could allow him to cut spending after June 1, spreading the impact and freeing up $9.5 million in cap space. (See below).

Related: Dak Prescott & 6 Simple Roster Moves to Beat ‘Salary Cap Hell’

Given that Tolbert has almost the same production as Gallup while requiring significantly less money ($1.1 million in base salary in 2024 and $1.4 million in cap space), the decision could be easier than initially thought. Gallup is now an exemplary teammate and a striking presence in the locker room.

He could have been forgiven for being upset about the lack of receptions this season, as he’s had three or fewer in a game 15 times this year. But he stuck to the game plan and was willing to help with blocking in the running game and was a good person to have around The Star. But is he worth $13 million? Tolbert had 150 fewer yards than Gallup, had 12 fewer receptions, but their yards per reception were nearly identical (7.4 for Tolbert, 7.3 for Gallup).

Tolbert also had a better catch rate (55.6 percent to Gallup’s 50.9) and averaged just nine fewer yards per game (24.6 to 15.8). But Gallup has started 13 games compared to Tolbert’s six and has taken 612 offensive snaps this year compared to Tolbert’s 477.

Related: Cowboys’ Gallup Looks Awful; Do Stats Back ‘Eye Test’?

So, in terms of production, the two are not that far apart, but if you look at their respective salaries, the gap is huge.

And this could be the deciding factor. Gallup has been a good soldier for the Cowboys, but the tightness of the salary cap, along with the emergence of Tolbert on offense and his lower ceiling, could indicate that Gallup may not be a Cowboy in 2024.

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