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Cowboys Cut Ties with Michael Gallup & Leighton Vander Esch

As of this moment, nobody from the Dallas Cowboys' 2018 draft class is on the team. The team recently released LB Leighton Vander Eash and WR Michael Gallup. This move is not easy for the team, but necessary. The Gallup and Vander Esch experience had a few positives, but overall, it was not a successful experiment.

Dallas is not off to a good start to its new league year. Several players have departed to sign elsewhere, and now, two players have been released. So they finally did something, but critics are far from pleased. It's not the first time Dallas has been silent during free agency, and it's certainly not going to be the last time.

Vander Esch was selected 19th overall in the first round by Dallas out of Boise State University. Although he proved himself a valuable asset when healthy, his career is marred by numerous neck injuries he sustained. In 2020, he missed time with a broken collarbone. His injuries have resulted in at least two surgeries.

The 28-year-old LB may have no choice but to retire from the sport. At this point, the risks are too great as he's already more than likely to deal with eternal pain in his neck. Vander Esch's release comes from a failed physical designation.

Gallup had potential, but his stint in Dallas was very disappointing. Unfortunately, like Vander Esch, Gallup had more than his fair share of injuries. Gallup's best year was in 2019 when he finished with a career-high 1,107 yards and six touchdowns. In 2020, Gallup started a career-high 15 games but had 843 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Gallup was injured in Week 1 of the 2021 season and missed nearly two months. Later, in Week 17, he tore his ACL.

A few months after tearing his ACL, Gallup signed a five-year, $62.5 contract. What's the bigger mistake, right there? Trading Amari Cooper to Cleveland for literally pennies on the dollar or paying a WR who struggles with injuries and has a habit of dropping passes? Regardless of whichever it is, that's Dallas for you!

In the first two years of his big contract, Gallup didn't amass 500 receiving yards. Granted, in 2022, he missed more time as he was still recovering from his torn ACL, but after what we saw last season, it was clear that no change was coming. Dallas had to know that the decision to keep Gallup over Cooper would come back and bite them in the butt, and boy did it ever.

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