There’s been a lot of excitement around adding rookie WR CeeDee Lamb to the Cowboys offense. But in the midst of all this justified enthusiasm, it seems many are already elevating Lamb above third-year receiver Michael Gallup.
It seems a good time to remind everyone that Gallup is still one of the best young players on the Dallas roster. And no matter how good CeeDee might become, Michael won’t be giving up his role to the rookie without a fight.
Gallup is coming off a breakout sophomore season; 66 catches, 1107 yards, and six touchdowns. He was only slightly behind Amari Cooper* (79 rec, 1189 yds, 8 TDs) in each category despite missing two games to injury.
* Cooper officially played in all 16 games, but he missed nearly all of the loss to the NY Jets after leaving hurt on the opening series.
There was no doubt who the Cowboys’ #2 receiver was before the 2020 NFL Draft. And nobody expected the team to come away with someone who might threaten Gallup’s spot. With the 1st-Round pick projected to go to a cornerback or pass rusher, the hope was that Dallas would be able to find a replacement for Randall Cobb in the 2nd or 3rd Round.
But we know what happened. CeeDee Lamb fell to Dallas at the 17th pick and the rest is all future material for his Hall of Fame bio.
The immediate glorification went up a notch when the Cowboys announced that the rookie would wear #88, a tradition generally reserved for the team’s future franchise receiver.
As pictured above, CeeLamb has already leapfrogged Michael Gallup from a hype and marketing standpoint. But that won’t happen so easily on the field.
This isn’t another Terrance Williams we’re talking about. While both were 3rd-Round picks, Gallup’s already done more with his opportunity as the #2 receiver than Williams ever did.
If you look at that picture again, you see three former 1st-Round draft picks and the starting quarterback. Three of them were household names the minute they entered the league, and Dak Prescott became one the minute he took over as starting QB of the Dallas Cowboys.
That’s what Michael Gallup is up against right now. The offseason is a time for the most recognizable names faces and names; easy attention without game results or highlights to talk about.
But when real NFL action resume this September (we hope), that’s when Gallup will be able to remind people just who he is and where he ranks among the Dallas receivers.
While some are trying to craft a fake controversy between Prescott and Andy Dalton at quarterback, a legitimate one could be brewing on the WR depth chart. CeeDee Lamb is coming in with all of the fanfare worthy of a 1st-Round pick, but he’s not just bumping Michael Gallup out of a primary offensive role.
It’s a great problem for the Cowboys to have. There are now three players with legitimate cases for being the top receiver on other teams, and there are only so many targets around.
Let Gallup, Lamb, and perhaps even Amari Cooper settle it on the field.
And may the opposition beware.