Cowboys release Michael Gallup, Leighton Vander Esch

The Cowboys have released receiver Michael Gallup and released linebacker Leighton Vander Esch with a failed physical designation, the team announced. Both moves were expected.

The Cowboys had given Gallup permission to seek a trade, but, also as expected, no one wanted to take on his contract. Gallup had three years remaining on his current deal with cap hits of $13.850 million, $15.850 million and $15.850 million.

He had a $4 million injury guarantee for 2024 that vested to a full guarantee next week.

The Cowboys are likely designating Gallup as a post-June 1 cut, according to the team website, saving them $9.5 million in room this year. Gallup, though, will count $8.7 million in dead money in 2025.

He has not been the same since an ACL tear during the 2021 season. In the past two seasons combined, Gallup had 73 receptions for 842 yards and six touchdowns total.

Vander Esch's neck injuries are expected to force him to retire.

The 28-year-old, the 19th overall pick in 2019, will walk away after 65 starts, 469 tackles, 13 pass breakups and three interceptions. He earned his only Pro Bowl as a rookie.

The Cowboys will take on $2.2 million in dead money but will save another $2.2 million.