The Dallas Cowboys will need to make moves if they want to turn things around in 2021. Although the team will be drastically better just by getting healthier, they’ll need to do something for Dan Quinn’s defense. It’s likely they do that through free agency or the NFL Draft, but some are intrigued by the possibility of trading Michael Gallup before the season.

When the Cowboys drafted Gallup in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, we knew we could expect a versatile player who could earn a starting role. Instead, we got a player way better than just that. Gallup has proven capable of being a big-time threat with outstanding ball skills and speed.

In Dallas, Gallup has been identified as a WR2 or WR3… but don’t get it wrong. He has the potential to be the guy on an NFL offense. In fact, in terms of passer rating, he was #1 for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020, per John Owning:

But Michael Gallup’s potential makes him an interesting trade asset. More than anything, this is the case because his contract is set to expire after the 2021 season. Given the Cowboys have already paid Amari Cooper and should plan to extend CeeDee Lamb when the time comes down the road, it’s easy to assume Gallup will end up elsewhere after his rookie deal.

It’s difficult to put a finger on what his value will be when he hits free agency, but it should be high. Not WR1 money, perhaps, but Gallup did line up wide in 94.72% of his snaps. And he showed up when his name was called time and time again. He’s getting paid by someone.

Yet I believe the Cowboys should stick with him in 2021. Sometimes, as fans and analysts, we get our head too involved in contracts and trades that we overthink this game. Because that’s what football is. At the end of the day, it’s a game. And it’s one you win with good players. That’s precisely what Michael Gallup has proven to be in the last three years.

With #13 on the field, the Dallas Cowboys have one of the best wide receiver units in the entire league. Balanced teams can win in the NFL, but usually, Super Bowl teams have one elite unit. Maybe it’s the offense, maybe it’s the defense. With a healthy Dak Prescott, the Cowboys are an elite offense.

Why would you disband such a dominant WR trio in a year in which you’re aiming to make a Super Bowl run? It’s not like this team is in the dreaded “rebuild mode.” And it isn’t one player away from the Super Bowl, either. Let alone a draft pick, which is even an even likelier return in exchange for Gallup.

If the Dallas Cowboys are serious about making a run in 2021, they shouldn’t part ways with one of their top players. If you can’t lock him up for the future, that’s a shame. But there’s nothing wrong with keeping a quality starter around for one more season.

Unless, of course, you’re overthinking football.

Not everyone will agree with me on this topic, including my colleague Jackson Hannah. Make sure to read his counterpoint here. 

Featured Image Via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports