Michael Gallup has been recovering from the ACL tear he suffered on January 2nd, but the former 1,000-yard receiver is on track to make his first appearance since that injury this Monday night against the New York Giants.
Likely on a snap count, the return of Gallup could not have come at a better time. Head coach Mike McCarthy said he would get a “full slate” of reps this week in practice and will have every opportunity to get him ready to play Monday night.
I noted in my last update about Gallup a week ago that if the Cowboys could win the game against the Bengals, the return of Gallup would be a massive bonus as Dallas goes on the road this Monday to take on the first divisional foe of the season.
The impressive start for Noah Brown makes the return for Gallup even easier. Dallas waived Dennis Houston this week, who did not see many targets and only accounted for just over 50% of snaps through the first two games. It is also worth noting that Houston was active the first two weeks while third-round pick Jalen Tolbert has not even suited up. Houston re-signed with the practice squad after he cleared waivers.
With Gallup returning, maybe Tolbert is also active this week; the Cowboys might use both of them on a snap count and split 50/50 when possible to make up for Houston's snaps.
The Cowboys tipped their hand that Michael Gallup would return Monday Night, when they waived Dennis Houston yesterday. And today, Mike McCarthy says that Gallup will get a “full slate” of reps this week in practice.
Expect Gallup on the field Monday Night, barring a setback.
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) September 21, 2022
Brown's early production allows the Cowboys to not overdue the return of Gallup and should let him play on a snap count until he gets his trust back by being tackled, making cuts, etc. With help on the way, the Cowboys passing attack has averaged just 204 yards per game over the first two weeks. Not only should the presence of Gallup help increase the passing numbers, but it should also help create different matchups on the field and give Dallas some better looks for Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard running the football. Gallup being on the field is a victory in itself.
So what are the realist expectations for Gallup? It might depend on how long it takes to get his footing back under him and have that mind over matter, trusting himself to do all the great things he was before. High-pointing, the football, holding a block on a zone run, and just being a great receiver.
We saw what happened in week one when the Bucs played Chris Godwin; he hurt his hamstring; whether or not that is just from lack of reps as he recovered from an ACL tear, I don't know. I like that the Cowboys did not push Gallup to return any sooner, and being 1-and-1 upon his return is what I expected from this team with Dak Prescott or not. The Cowboys can beat the Giants Monday even with Cooper Rush.