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Despite Cooper Trade, Michael Gallup’s Development Can’t Be Ignored

Kevin Brady

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Can WR Michael Gallup Eclipse 1,000 Receiving Yards as a Rookie?

The Cowboys made the type of splash they've avoided in recent years over their bye week, trading a first round pick for wide receiver Amari Cooper. The former fourth overall draft pick brings a receiving element which the Cowboys have not had on the outside this season, and will hopefully open up the middle of the field for Cole Beasley as well.

Trading for Cooper makes sense on a lot of levels, and even if you disagree with the compensation, you have to be excited about the upside of this receiving corps moving forward. Amari Cooper as the X, Cole Beasley in the slot, and Michael Gallup as the Z receiver.

Yes, rookie wide out Michael Gallup. Not free agent signee Allen Hurns.

Despite trading for Amari Cooper, and hopefully re-signing Beasley this upcoming offseason, the Cowboys need to make sure that Gallup's development is towards the top of their priorities. They can't allow an average-at-best veteran receiver to take his snaps on the outside, no matter what his price tag currently is.

Over the last few games Michael Gallup has looked more and more like his college-self, and even scored his first NFL touchdown against Washington when the Cowboys were last in action. Outside of Beasley, Michael Gallup has been the Cowboys' best route runner this season. And, outside of former first rounder Amari Cooper, I believe Gallup has the most upside of any of the Cowboys' receivers.

Of course, this doesn't guarantee anything with Gallup. He may never be the player that all of us in the draft world expected, but he has already begun to show signs that he will develop into that mold. The Cowboys need to make sure that Michael Gallup doesn't get lost in the wide receiver shuffle during the second half of this season, to better ensure his growth as a professional player.

They have to make it a point to get Gallup on the field opposite of Cooper, as that is what they should hope will be their 1-2 punch moving into the future. Luckily, playing Michael Gallup as that Z receiver doesn't require a sacrifice in play quality right now, as I would argue he is already a better player than Hurns.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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4 Comments
  • Steve

    IMO Gallup is gonna be a stud, you are correct that he is already better than Hurns! They should have Gallup in for the majority of the snaps and continue his development and moving forward we could have a sweet trio of Wr’s for the next 5 yrs or so! Now its up to Dak to get his crap together and find them open! Just like the Skin game which I was at and realized how open Gallup was and it didnt matter if Norman was with him or not, he made plays and Dak made some sweet throws BUT he missed Gallup on that strip sack for a TD for the Skins because Gallup was open for a 95 yard TD

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      There was darn good reason he didn’t see him
      All 22 film revealed Dak couldn’t have stepped into the throw which could’ve been Judy’s disastrous as the strip sack recovery for that TD

      Dak pocket presence could’ve been better to see the UNBLOCKED pass-rusher & escaped to find Gallup however

      Dak said he saw Gallup but tried to escape & didn’t adjust in time nor protect the ball

      Dak HAS flat-out missed receivers before but that wasn’t one of them

      Now the receivers have dropped their fair share this season too
      Including Zeke’s missed TD catch in the back of the endzone ‘s Washington

      We need to mention apprx 5 dropped TD passes
      A negated TD pass by Zeke’s stepping out of bounds
      Gallup NOT getting both feet down etc

      Dak getting the ball there & receivers catching it are just as frequent as Dak’s inaccuracy

      The O line has been very suspect also
      That’s why a coach just got fired
      &
      Dak’s been told to go certain places on certain plays also
      That’s coaching

      They’re all to blame

  • Ethan

    As long as Dak feels phantom pressure, doesn’t see the field and dumps off the ball on 3rd and long to Zeke it does not matter who the wr is. As long as the O line makes horrible penalties seemingly every major gain to destroy drives it doesn’t matter who the wr is. As little g as the TE group sucks it doesn’t matter who our WRs are.

  • Sexcdex Xfact

    I don’t see us abandoning Gallup nor burying him in the depth chart

    He’s a 2nd rd pick but had as high as mid to late 1st rd grades in him

    Ridley has Sanu & Julio drawing most of the attention which helps him to get open

    Now, Cooper can do the same for Cole & Gallup
    This us also due to Mr Zeke th Freak Elliott of course

    We are primed for a return to prominence

Star Blog

Leighton Vander Esch Is A Stud, And Should Be For A Long Time

Kevin Brady

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Leighton Vander Esch Is A Stud, And Should Be For A Long Time

The Cowboys took their fair share of heat for selecting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch 19th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. But through just over half a season, Dallas is looking vindicated in their decision.

Vander Esch was arguably the best defensive player on the field during Dallas' 27-20 win in Philadelphia Sunday night, and made the two biggest defensive plays of the game as well. Finishing with a game-high 13 tackles, Vander Esch was all over the field in both run and pass defense.

The first of his two massive plays came in the first quarter. After the Cowboys offense stalled deep in their own territory, the Eagles looked to be in prime position to strike first with a short field. On Carson Wentz' first pass attempt of the drive, however, Leighton Vander Esch was there to intercept him and return the ball back 28 yards.

Those return yards proved key as well, giving the Cowboys the short field and an easy path to their first three points of the night. And with the way their offense looked early in this game, Dallas could use all the help they could get.

The biggest play of the game, though, came late in the fourth quarter. With the Eagles facing a third and long and down seven points, they absolutely needed a conversion to keep pace with the surprisingly hot Cowboys offense. Philadelphia tried to beat Dallas with a running back screen to the backside, inviting the pass rush and getting blockers out in front.

There seemed to be nothing but blockers and green grass ahead for the Eagles on this play, with "Next Gen Stats" expecting a 22 yard gain after the catch. Then, Leighton Vander Esch eluded two blockers and tracked down the running back for a gain of just 3.

Next Gen Stats on Twitter

Leighton Vander Esch made a game-saving tackle late in the 4th quarter to preserve the Cowboys 27-20 win. Corey Clement was expected to gain 22 yards after the catch (gained 3), -19 YAC Below Expectation, the most yards saved on a pass play this season. #DALvsPHI #DallasCowboys https://t.co/0DF7jhPQzH

If not for this tackle, who knows how both that Eagles' drive and the game would have ended. Vander Esch saved the day for Dallas, and forced the Eagles into a tough fourth and long situation with the game on the line.

I know it is still early in Vander Esch's career, and even relatively early in this season as well, but it's become clear the Cowboys hit a home run with their 2018 first round selection. Vander Esch is fitting in beside Jaylon Smith with ease, and with those two athletic freaks together, the Cowboys look to have one of the brightest defensive futures in all of football.

Of course, there are now legitimate questions about what the Cowboys should do with their captain Sean Lee. But as of right now, it should be Leighton Vander Esch's job to lose.



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Star Blog

Can Cowboys LB Vander Esch Do Enough to Win DROY?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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LB Leighton Vander Esch Rare Bright Spot In Cowboys Disappointing Loss

At 3-5, there are very few positive things to point out when discussing the 2018 Dallas Cowboys. One of those few things has been first-round rookie Leighton Vander Esch, whose play at linebacker has taken the league by surprise. Seen as a raw talent who could develop into an elite player with time as a prospect, Vander Esch's impact on the field has been immediate.

Through nine weeks in the NFL season, the Boise State product should definitely be in the Defensive Rookie of the Year discussion. As much as Sean Lee's injury will hurt the Cowboys' defense, it will get the rookie more playing time and a big opportunity to put his name in the minds of NFL Honors voters.

Sean Lee will miss some time after re-injuring his hamstring for the second time this season. Earlier in the year, Jaylon Smith and Vander Esch were able to keep the defense from crumbling without their veteran captain. Even with all the offensive struggles, that should continue to be the case for the linebackers.

Vander Esch has only played in 65% of the Cowboys' defensive snaps, yet he's tied for ninth place in solo tackles in the entire league with 49. He's at 64 total tackles and two pass deflections and has been a magnet to opposing ball carriers every time he's been on the field.

He's the third highest graded rookie LB for Pro Football Focus. Most times, rookies find success like this by being rotational players or simply splitting snaps with other players. But as previously mentioned, Lee has already been out for a handful of games in 2018 and Vander Esch has lived up to the hype.

Simply put, Leighton's play as a rookie has already put Sean Lee's future on the Cowboys in question. With such an injury history and a two young studs ready to take over the reigns, Dallas could very well release Lee prior to the 2019 season.

Now granted, the race for Defensive Rookie of the Year will not be an easy one to win for Vander Esch. Fourth overall pick Denzel Ward has been an impressive cornerback for the Browns and fifth-overall pick Bradley Chubb has been one of the best pass rushers on Sundays. Not to mention the NFL leader in solo tackles, Colts' LB Darius Leonard.

Despite a great start to his season, the Cowboys young LB will have to play way better for his name to be called when the Defensive Rookie of the Year is revealed at the NFL Honors event in February. There are some pretty big names he has to catch up with in order to make this happen.

Tell me what you think about "Can Cowboys LB Vander Esch Do Enough to Win DROY?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Dak Prescott/Carson Wentz Is No Rivalry, And There’s Only One Side To Blame

Kevin Brady

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Dak Prescott/Carson Wentz Is No Rivalry, And There's Only One Side To Blame

It feels like an eternity has passed since 2016, yet somehow, it was only 2 seasons ago.

The Dallas Cowboys were riding high, en route to a 13-3 season and an NFC East crown. They had drafted the league's leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall in the previous draft, and believed to have found their franchise quarterback over 100 picks later.

Up in Philadelphia things weren't going as smoothly, but they were certainly on the upswing. After trading up to select Carson Wentz in that same 2016 draft, the Eagles also believed they had their quarterback of the future.

Cowboys/Eagles. Dak/Wentz. A debate between two hated rivals which began in 2016 and seemed like it would go on for the next decade. It was almost too perfect.

Countless articles and blog posts were written about the birth of a quarterback rivalry which would span for the foreseeable future. Which team had the better draft haul in 2016? Which team was better set up for the future behind their young quarterback?

The two met for the first time on Sunday Night football back in 2016, and for much of the night neither was very good. They both looked like rookies, but at the end of the game Dak Prescott was the one who came through in the clutch, throwing the game winner in overtime to Jason Witten. The rivalry was born, and the Cowboys had the upper hand.

Fast forward to today and things are much, much different. Prescott and Wentz have only really played each other one other time since that first match-up, a game which the Eagles dominated and Dak Prescott threw 3 interceptions.

The other two games have been meaningless and ugly, two adjectives which could describe every Cowboys game the past calendar year.

Simply put, there is no rivalry. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys have not held up their end of the bargain since that first match-up in 2016. Prescott's play has fallen off considerably, as he has fallen victim to just about every piece of lazy analysis Eagles fans gave during his miraculous 2016 season.

Doug Pederson has become the anti-Jason Garrett, quite literally making his name off being aggressive on critical downs and refusing to punt on fourth and short in plus territory. The Eagles front office has become the anti-Cowboys, going after pricey trade targets and free agents to ensure they are making the most of their young quarterback's rookie contract window.

The Cowboys have failed just about everywhere that the Eagles have succeeded. And, Dak Prescott has failed just about everywhere Carson Wentz has excelled.

Maybe things will turn around this Sunday for Dallas, and if they are able to win, they'd still be very much alive in the division race. But all of that seems highly unlikely. There is no longer a Dak/Wentz rivalry. There's barely even a reason for Eagles fans to have Dak Prescott on their radar.

Let's hope Prescott and the Cowboys can begin to change things this Sunday.



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