Heading into the 2018 season the Dallas Cowboys had big questions at the wide receiver position with the departure of Dez Bryant. They elected not to go for the flashy names like Maryland's D.J. Moore or Alabama's Calvin Ridley, but instead took Colorado State Wide Receiver, Michael Gallup 81st overall.
Even without the hype of other bigger named receivers coming out of college, Gallup's resume was enough to impress Head Coach Jason Garrett. "There's a lot to like about him. He's big, he's athletic, he plays the game the right way. He's been a productive player for them, doing a lot of different kinds of things. We feel like he has real upside, too. A lot of qualities that you want in a young receiver, in a developmental receiver. But a lot of production, too. He had opportunities there and took advantage of them throughout his career," Garrett said.
Once the season started, however, it was apparent that it would take some time to build the chemistry and trust with Quarterback Dak Prescott. The lack of a true number one receiver wasn't doing the first talent any favors as he tried to figure out his role on the team. Gallup would be targeted just 15 times in the first 5 games, only registering 6 receptions. But fortunately for the newbie, help was on the way.
During the team's bye week in October, they acquired Amari Cooper from the Raiders in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2019 draft, and it worked wonders for Gallup and his development. Weeks 11 through 14 saw him targetted 27 times. This was significant considering the Cowboys were in the midst of a 5-game winning streak after a 3-5 start. Prescott's trust and belief in Gallup were starting to come together as the team made a run at the NFC East crown and a playoff berth.
He would finish with 33 receptions for 507 yards and 2 touchdowns. Once the postseason rolled around Gallup had firmly established himself as the team's second option behind Amari Cooper.
Gallup would make his first playoff start in the divisional round against the Rams in Los Angeles. Although the Cowboys season wouldn't survive this contest, one of the positives was the play of the first year pass catcher. He finished with 6 receptions for 119 yards, and a tidal wave of momentum heading into 2019.
There's a major change coming to the Cowboys offensive philosophy this season, thanks to newly promoted Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore. The new puppet master of the offense has made it clear he's open to listening to suggestions from the players and staff on what they feel will take the offense into another orbit. "At the end of the day, work together with everyone. I think that includes the coaching staff, obviously coach Garrett and the rest of his staff. I think you also got to get some input from the players. It doesn't mean you have to go down those roads all the time, but I think it's important that when a player believes in something and they're pretty convinced on it, usually they find a way to make it work," Kellen Moore said.
With a season already under his belt with Prescott, and an open-minded first-year offensive coordinator willing to abandon the prehistoric ways of the Scott Linehan era, Gallup's development will only improve with each snap.
Unlike the beginning of his rookie season, Michael Gallup knows exactly what his role with the Cowboys is going forward. Amari Cooper is the main option, and with him drawing double teams regularly, the opportunities for Gallup to have a major impact in year two are endless. Not to mention, the added addition of Randall Cobb to the Cowboys passing game just made life even easier for him. Now teams not only have to roll coverage to Cooper, but the threat of Cobb in the slot creates a lot of one-on-ones on the outside for Gallup.
The size, speed, and athleticism are all there for this young man. Now, with a more innovative offensive scheme coming into play, and growing trust between himself and Dak Prescott, the 2019 season is shaping up to make Michael Gallup a household name.
REPORT: Cowboys WR Michael Gallup Out 2-4 Weeks After Knee Surgery
Two games into a seeming breakout season, Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Michael Gallup will now be out for the next 2-4 weeks after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He suffered the injury late into the Cowboys' victory over the Washington Redskins yesterday.
An MRI revealed the extent of the injury today. There were hopes that Gallup had only suffered a contusion, but unfortunately he will be out at least a couple of games after requiring this minor knee procedure.
Gallup is the team leader in catches (13) and receiving yards (226) after the first two weeks of the 2019 season.
Sources: #Cowboys promising WR Michael Gallup is having arthroscopic surgery to trim his meniscus, knocking him out 2-4 weeks. No structural damage besides the meniscus tear, so the return should be quick.
The Cowboys still have Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb as a strong starting duo. They also hope to get Tavon Austin back this week after he was inactive in Washington with concussion issues.
Gallup's absence could be big for Devin Smith, who had a 51-yard touchdown catch against the Redskins and should see more work in the coming weeks. It also may prompt Dallas to keep prospect Cedrick Wilson, just called up from the practice squad a week ago, on the 53-man roster a while longer.
Despite this depth, Michael Gallup will still be missed for however long he's out. Hopefully he can return on the quick side of the projection and keep his 2019 momentum going.
Dallas Cowboys Should Pursue Miami Dolphins’ Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick
Every year it seems one team decides pretty quickly to take on the mantel of "NFL Dumpster Fire." In 2019, the Miami Dolphins are so obviously in tank mode that it's become almost sad. Of course, the Dallas Cowboys have been the beneficiary of their sell-off as they were able to acquire Robert Quinn for the low-low price of a sixth-round draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
After trading away Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Britt just before the start of the regular season, Chris Mortenson of ESPN is reporting that the Miami Dolphins have told Defensive Back Minkah Fitzpatrick that he and his representatives can pursue a trade.
The Dolphins have granted permission to DB Minkah Fitzpatrick to seek a trade, according to multiple sources who say Miami's asking price is too high. Dolphins have no comment. Story coming with help from @CameronWolfe
Dolphins team official now tells @CameronWolfe they are not actively shopping Fitzpatrick but did not deny they have given agent Joel Segal permission to talk with other teams. Segal has been unavailable for comment but other NFL teams have confirmed contact. https://t.co/z3FCN3tyqL
It would appear that the Dolphins aren't actively shopping him, but the second report from Mortenson would indicate that they are willing to deal if the right offer came along.
Fitzpatrick has been a bit disgruntled since training camp, feeling like the Dolphins have been playing him out of position. He was a bit frustrated with the way the Dolphins opening week loss to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens went down.
After an excellent career at the University of Alabama, Fitzpatrick was selected 11th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. In his rookie season with the Dolphins, the former All-American recorded 80 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and two interceptions. He played in all 16 games and started 11 during his rookie season.
As a free safety, he could fit in really nicely with the versatile Xavier Woods who the Dallas Cowboys could deploy more as the box safety. Woods ability to play coverage and play the run would make him an ideal player to use to match up with tight ends or running backs in the passing game. With Fitzpatrick and Woods, the Dallas Cowboys would have two versatile and dynamic safeties to deploy in a variety of ways.
Source says Phins asking for a 1st for M Fitzpatrick but will likely settle for a 2nd.
If there's much of a market for Fitzpatrick, which there should be, it would likely take a first-round pick from the Cowboys to make this deal as Benjamin Allbright is reporting. However, if they were able to come up with a package that didn't include their first, that would obviously be much better.
I could fairly easily be talked into a first-round pick for Fitzpatrick. So, if the Dallas Cowboys could get him for a second-round pick or a second and a late-round pick, I'd do that in a heartbeat.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is only in the second year of his rookie contract, which would mean the Dallas Cowboys could have player control for three more seasons after 2019.
If the Dallas Cowboys are looking to make a deal, they shouldn't and probably wouldn't include any of their current defensive back depth. A team that has Super Bowl aspirations won't trade depth on the team, because that depth becomes extremely valuable in December, January, and hopefully February.
Like the Amari Cooper move, trading for Fitzpatrick who still has several more years of control would make a ton of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They wouldn't even have to make him a full-time player in 2019 and could just use him as a matchup piece before making him and Xavier Woods the primary safeties in 2020.
The Cowboys like their team, but they've shown a willingness to be opportunistic over the past year with the Amari Cooper and Robert Quinn trades. With the Miami Dolphins in sell mode, this could be an excellent opportunity for the Cowboys to take advantage and get a discounted rate on a potential star at safety. They've been very clear about what their goals are for this season.
As Stephen Jones says, the player acquisition business is a 365 day a year business. This is absolutely a player that they should inquire about and should seriously consider making a deal for. He's a playmaker that can help your secondary in 2019 and beyond.
Here's what Lance Zierlien of NFL.com had to say about Fitzpatrick during the lead up to the 2018 NFL Draft:
"Fitzpatrick played star early in 2016 and then moved to safety when senior Eddie Jackson was injured. The result? He led the team with six interceptions and 186 interception return yards, returning two more pick-sixes to set the school career record with four. He was named a first-team All-American by multiple outlets for his efforts (66 tackles, five TFL, seven pass break-ups). Fitzpatrick's New Jersey family home was damaged by Hurricane Irene in 2011."
Lance Zierlien - NFL.com
Like Xavier Woods, Fitzpatrick has a stellar track record of making plays on the football. In the NFL where passing is becoming more and more frequent, you can never have too many guys that can create turnovers. Minkah Fitzpatrick makes the Dallas Cowboys better and could be the final piece to the defensive puzzle. If the price is right, the Dallas Cowboys should go get him.
Report: Dak Prescott Named NFC Offensive Player of the Week
The Dallas Cowboys couldn't have asked for a better season debut than the one they got from their starting quarterback last Sunday. According to NFL.com Dak Prescott has been named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
He set a franchise record with 405 passing yards in a season opener. The accuracy he displayed spreading the ball to his top three receivers was impressive. He was 17 of 21 (80.9%) throwing the ball to Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb. Prescott was unbelievable on play-action completing 14 of 15 passes for 207 yards and 3 touchdowns. This performance was so good that he became one of only thirty quarterbacks in NFL history with a perfect passer rating (158.3) and only the fourth to achieve it with at least thirty attempts.
Prescott will be looking to continue his hot start versus the Washington Redskins on the road this Sunday, a team he is 5-1 against in his career. Can he win back to back NFC Offensive Player of the Week awards? We'll be watching.
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