And why not have both? Signing Gallup long term was dumb. He is a generic WR you can find on any time and in any draft. Cooper is not. We didn't need to pick between one or the other.
Gallup had 2000 receiving yards in 2019 and 2020 with 11 TDs as a WR2. Amari had 2300 yards receiving and 13 TDs as WR1 over the same 2 season period.
Pretending one was trash while the other was gold would be very wrong.
And to be clear, Amari Cooper was NOT coming back PERIOD. NOT AT ALL.
He was going to be released.
That decision was made the day Dallas matched WFT's 5-year 100M deal.
It was sealed in blood the day CeeDee fell all the way to pick 16(??).
The 2022 decision was between Gallup and Cedrick Wilson.
Dallas had the budget for and was paying for a WR2 to CeeDee Lamb.
They trusted Gallup and liked his long-term value more.
That has hurt them in 2022.
Dallas got a discount on Gallup because he had a torn ACL at the time he signed the deal.
It's hardly shocking he was super mediocre this year.
Whether or not Dallas comes out ahead will depend on how it goes with him moving forward.
He was a top 5 deep ball WR with Dak in 2019 and 2020. That was going well in 2021 when he was injured.
This year there has been zero chance of him getting deep or making a play as his longest reception is 27 yards.
So this gamble could absolutely fail miserably.
Or he could put up the same or better numbers next year than Cooper does.
Gallup made 4.5M this year and his deal is only for 11.5 AAV.
If he is bad next year they can dump him for 2 years and 24.5M total.
Amari Cooper has averaged 64 yards receiving and .5 TDs per playoff game.
Michael Gallup has averaged 68.5 yards receiving and .5 TDs per playoff game.
Amari Cooper would make this team better. But he is probably not making it 16M better.
In a game against Tampa that went OT this year he was targeted 12 times (tied for his seaosn high in targets) and had 7 receptions for 92 yards with 0 TDs.
It was a decent but inefficient game.