Michael Gallup came into the 2020 season with serious momentum. He logged 66 receptions for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns, doubling his output from his rookie season. However, most of the chatter surrounding the Dallas Cowboys receiving unit was centered around Amari Cooper and rookie sensation CeeDee Lamb. The former inked a five-year, $100 million dollar deal in the offseason and the latter was highly regarded as the best wide receiver coming out of the college ranks.
Cooper has backed up his contract with another 1,000-yard season. Lamb, has already set the franchise’s all-time rookie record for receptions (66) and is has a chance at 1,000 yards himself. This has made Gallup sort of the forgotten man in the Cowboys passing attack, but he reminded everyone has on Sunday that his name shouldn’t be put on the backburner.
Gallup got his big game started early in the second quarter. With the Philadelphia Eagles up 14-3 and controlling the pace of the game, the Cowboys mostly road Ezekiel Elliott deep into the Eagles territory. On 2nd and 3 from the 21, Gallup finds an empty spot in the Eagles zone coverage by splitting the linebacker and safety and outruns several defenders for a touchdown to pull the Cowboys within four points.
the earlier Michael Gallup TDpic.twitter.com/m2ZcCYQgKq
He continued his dominance of the Eagles just before the halftime whistle. After a 55-yard catch by Gallup on the next drive that set up a field goal, the Eagles went back up by four after a field goal of their own. Gallup would cap off an 11-play drive doing his best Dez Bryant impression. He jumps and catches the ball at its highest point on a fade route for a touchdown to put the Cowboys up by 3 and they never looked back.
Cooper had a feeling that Gallup was going to have a big day after his first reception in the first quarter.
“I just felt it,” Cooper said via the Dallas Morning News. “I felt it in the air. I just knew that this was the game he was going to dominate.”
Gallup didn’t make his teammate out to be a liar as he finished with six receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns. All of his production came in the first half which meant Cooper and Lamb had to have had big games also with Andy Dalton throwing for 377 yards. Cooper racked up 121 yards himself and Lamb added 65 yards and a 19-yard touchdown run. Gallup was happy to see his teammates shine.
“I love seeing that,” Gallup said. “I mean, Amari Cooper was streaking down the field. CeeDee was streaking down the field. It’s just fun to watch, and I’ve already been streaking down the field, so I’m not really sure I need any more catches to be honest, but I’ll take them if they come my way. It was just a fun game, a fun game.”
The 2021 season will be a contract year for Gallup. With Cooper and Lamb locked up for the next several seasons, he’ll be a major focus for the front office during the offseason and he made it clear after his big Week 16 performance that his preference would be to remain in Dallas.
“I’d love to stay here as long possible, as long as possible,” Gallup said. “It’s a great group of guys here, great team, great coaching staff. I want to be here as long as I can, as long as possible. It’s not always up to me. So, we’ll just see how that goes.”
The Cowboys have a chance to win the NFC East next Sunday with a victory over the New York Giants and a loss by the Washington Football Team. If that’s to become a reality, another big game from Gallup wouldn’t hurt.