FRISCO - The name of wide receiver Michael Gallup comes up frequently in Dallas Cowboys trade conversations - amongst Dallas Cowboys fans, anyway.
The reasons are apparent: He seems like an "extra piece'' in this offense, for one thing. And for another, 2021 is the final year of his rookie contract, so Dallas might be on the precipice of losing him after this NFL season anyway, so maybe they should move him while they could get something.
At least that's the way the media/fan argument works.
Add it all up, and the view is: What contending team wouldn't want to add an affordable Michael Gallup as their "over-the-top'' piece?
There are two real-football issues with this view:
1) The Cowboys view themselves as being just that contender ... just that team in need of a "piece.'' So why would they sacrifice one? (The truthful answer is that in Gallup's time here, they have seriously considered moving him only once, in trade talks with the Jets regarding All-Pro safety Jamal Adams. So they'd sacrifice a "piece'' only in order to acquire a better one.)
2) As one NFL team source (not the Cowboys) who happens to like Gallup tells us, "We'd probably rather draft one.''
"One'' being a wide receiver.
Just as the Cowboys' thoughts on Gallup's future are in part about affordability and cap fit - they have receivers in CeeDee Lamb (on his rookie contract) and Amari Cooper, and by not (yet) flipping the switch on Cooper's contract have retained escapability on him next offseason, all part of the equation - other teams think the same.
Do they want to trade, say, a third-round pick for a year's rental of Gallup before they, too, have to pay him? The answer, per our source, is that they are more likely to use that same third-round pick on a draft-worthy receiver all their own ... with four years of contractual control rather than just Gallup's one year.
Maybe Dallas will try to renegotiate a new deal with Gallup, who makes just $2.4 mil this year, sometime this season. Maybe the Cowboys will try to retain Cooper and Lamb and Gallup - after all, in today's NFL, all three receivers are starters.
Maybe some team blows them away with an offer. But no, not New England offering star cornerback Stephon Gilmore in trade. Gilmore makes $17 million this year and wants an extension. Only in a non-cap world does this make much sense for Dallas.
We've seen speculation that Dallas would draft tight end Kyle Pitts in the No. 10 slot in the upcoming NFL Draft and then trade Gallup, because who needs all those pass-catchers? But that idea comes from the media, not from here inside The Star. (It also ignores the distinct possibility that Pitts is selected by the Bengals at No. 5, five spots ahead of Dallas.)
And, as a sidebar, using that logic: If the Cowboys have Gallup, why don't they trade Blake Jarwin? (Answer: Because no matter how many receivers Dallas has, it still needs a tight end. Jarwin. Pitts. Whomever.)
Ultimately, what media/fans clamoring for a trade of Gallup "because Dallas should get something for him before he leaves'' miss out on is the fact that the NFL's compensatory pick system - an area in which the Cowboys truly has mastery of - could very well provide Dallas with that same third-round pick (in 2023) that they'd get for trading him.
So Dallas' sensible plan: Retain the offensive weapons they'll need to be the contender they believe themselves to be.
"Keep a strength strong,'' as owner Jerry Jones likes to say, means that barring a blow-away trade offer, don't sell Gallup low. Don't sell him at all.