Two Cowboys Stars That Aren’t Shining So Bright

The stars have shown up to play for the Dallas Cowboys thus far this season.CeeDee Lamb is having the best season of any wide receiver in Cowboys history, Dak Prescott might win MVP, and DaRon Bland broke the NFL mark for most pick-sixes in a season. Two Cowboys stars, though, haven’t been as brilliant.

They franchise-tagged Tony Pollard during the previous offseason, and they might be looking to add another running back. Conversely, they were expecting that Michael Gallup would continue to improve and become a nightmare opponent for defensive backs in place of Lamb. Their future on the squad is in jeopardy because neither has lived up to the expected level of performance.

Two Cowboys Stars That Aren’t Shining So Bright

Tony Pollard

It seems sense that the Cowboys decided to move on from Ezekiel Elliott and reinstate Tony Pollard as the main back after the events of the previous season. Along with nearly 1,300 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns, Pollard had his first-ever 1,000-yard rushing performance. He appeared to be ready to take over as the workhorse and would go on to win his first Pro Bowl insignia.

His 2023–2024 campaign hasn’t been as productive as the year before. He has only ran for 935 yards and five touchdowns thus far, but his average yards per carry are a career low. This season, Pollard has only once surpassed 100 rushing yards, and in his last four games, he has not gained more than 60 yards through the air. His stats might not

be as attractive as he would like but statically he’s a top 10 running back in yardage. He’s currently ranked 10th in rushing and only needs 65 yards to reach 1,000 for the season.

This season was supposed to be a prove-it year for the Pro Bowl running back who’s playing on a fully guaranteed $10.091 million franchise tag. He isn’t having his best season but they shouldn’t move on from the

running back with plenty of value and upside at age 26. They should have patience as he recovers from the injury he sustained in the Divisional game of last year and works to recapture the burst and acceleration that have been a part of his game throughout his career.

It wouldn’t be ideal to move on after one losing season, but given the alternatives this upcoming summer presents, there are plenty of well-known players that would look fantastic with a star on their helmet. It will be ideal to keep him in Dallas for a few more years, though, provided the Cowboys can sign him to a contract that doesn’t break the bank given his $6.6 million market value.

Michael Gallup

The Cowboys were expecting that wide receiver Michael Gallup would finally revert to his pre-ACL form when they signed him to a five-year, $57.5 million agreement. Dallas sent wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for two late-round picks because they had such faith in head coach Mike Gallup. As it happens, Cooper is having the

2023–2024 was his most productive season to date, earning him an AFC Pro Bowl selection. However, Gallup has failed to provide even half of Cooper’s output, so Dallas will have to make a tough choice about him and his deal in the offseason.

Gallup was supposed to be “the guy” behind Lamb, but Cooks has moved up to claim the number-two slot among wide receivers. Gallup’s snap count continued to decline in the latter weeks of 2023 as second-year wide receiver Jalen Tolbert reduced his workload. Tolbert has outsnapped him four times since Week 8 and has almost the same number of snaps per week. Gallup only participated in 20 snaps in Week 17, accounting for 31% of the offensive snaps.

Through 16 games, Gallup recorded 34 receptions, 418 yards, and two touchdowns. Those numbers are on pace to be the lowest of his career beyond his rookie year and when healthy. Gallup’s best game in 2023 came in Week 3, where he recorded six catches for 92 yards. From Weeks 4-17, he hasn’t had a game with six or more receptions or 80 receiving yards.

Gallup’s cap hit for the 2024 season would be $13.85 million, not to mention a $4 million injury guarantee that’s owed on the fifth day of the league year. If Dallas decides to move on, the Cowboys would have to eat $13 million unless they designated Gallup as a post-June 1st release.

As the Cowboys get into their playoff stretch, they will need productivity and efficiency from everyone. If Gallup doesn’t elevate his game in the playoffs it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Cowboys look to shop him ahead of free agency and the draft or decide to outright release him.

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