FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys' top three wide receivers don't talk about it. They don't need to. The writing is on the salary-cap wall.
“I think we’ve all acknowledged it to ourselves,'' said Michael Gallup of the likelihood that Dallas' gifted trio of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Gallup is going to have this year together - and then no more. "We didn't even say it to each other ...''
But they know.
The Cowboys invested big-time in Cooper, with a $20 million APY deal to begin 2020. Then they invested again, having spent the No. 17 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on CeeDee Lamb. And of course they already had in their employ former third-round get Gallup.
After 2021, Gallup will be out of contract, with NFL observers believing he'll be given, by somebody, $12 million APY or more if he hits free agency - and Dallas has already made it clear it won't try to extend him during this season.
After 2021, Cooper's contract is escapable, with Dallas able to get away with just $6 mil in dead money in the event of his release.
Lamb is the future, a singular reason the Cowboys can logic-out the idea of going with less-expensive talent alongside him in the receivers room, if necessary.
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So Lamb is locked in. Dallas may have to choose between paying one of the other two. The decision begins to unfold in Week 1, the NFL opener Thursday featuring Dallas at Tampa Bay. That can be the start of this Dak Prescott-led offense helping the three realize their goal of each getting to 1,000 yards, as Gallup pointed out.
"That’s the goal for any wide receiver,'' he said. "That’s just the mark. All of us being on the same team, we’re trying to go out there and make history, too.''
It's a huge week for Gallup in another way as he became a father, to baby Myles.
"I didn’t know you could love somebody that much and they weren’t even there yet,'' Gallup said with a grin. "Right when he popped out, it was like I never experienced anything like that. It was love all over for him.''
The affable Gallup now turns his attention to football, and to his love for what might be about to be realized by a Cowboys team with high hopes - but a receiving corps prepping for a "last dance.''
"We still got plenty of football to play together,'' Gallup said in explaining why it's hasn't been a discussion item. "Whatever happens on the back end of it, that will come. But right now, you better just enjoy what you got, and we’re going to do that.”
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