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The Return of WR Michael Gallup Opens Up the Cowboys Passing Game

The Dallas Cowboys didn't just lose a game in to the they lost Michael Gallup who suffered a calf strain. Gallup hasn't played since that time, however, he was designated to return from injured reserve on Monday which kick-started his 21-day practice window. He can be added to the active roster at any point during that time or be put back on IR if he isn't.

and the Cowboys' have chugged along fine without Gallup due to the plethora of talented pass catchers they have. Fellow receivers and , as well as , are all on pace for 1,000-yard seasons. Also, has shown flashes of his ability and has scored two touchdowns as the Cowboys' No. 3 option in Gallup's absence. Make no mistake about it though, the return of Gallup opens up an already lethal Cowboys passing attack.

Gallup working on the outside with Cooper allows Lamb to dominate in the slot much like he did last season as a rookie when he led the NFL with 69 receptions for 877 yards from that area. It also gives Cooper more one-on-one opportunities because of the attention that defenses have to pay to Gallup.

The former third-round pick from 2018 is the Cowboys' primary deep ball threat. His potential to take the top off of any from the outside allows Cooper and Lamb to be effective when running underneath and intermediate passing routes. However, Gallup showed another dimension to his tool bag over the summer.

Gallup began taking snaps from the slot during . The ability to move Gallup around makes it difficult for defenses to pinpoint how they want to defend the Cowboys' aerial assault, giving Cooper and Lamb chances to attack downfield from the X and Y positions if he's lined up inside. Also, it gives the aforementioned Schultz and more chances to produce on seam routes down the middle of the field.

“Everybody's labeled me as just a deep ball threat, but I know I can do a whole lot more,” Gallup said back in August. “So me being able to come on the inside and run some routes from there, short, intermediate game, definitely can show that I'm more versatile than a lot of folks might think.”

Although the Cowboys have two No. 1 options essentially with Cooper and Lamb, Gallup has shown he can still be productive playing alongside them. In 2019, when Cooper racked up 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns, both career highs, Gallup was no slouch either. He had his best NFL campaign with 66 receptions for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns which doubled his production from his rookie campaign. Last season, while Cooper produced his fifth 1,000-yard season in six years and Lamb nearly reached 1,000 yards (935) himself, Gallup amassed 843 yards and five touchdowns despite playing with four different quarterbacks.

It remains to be seen if Gallup will be ready to return this Sunday against the Vikings. However, he will be back very soon and it will make the passing game in Dallas a nightmare to defend as if it isn't already.

What do you think?


Written by Matthew Lenix

I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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  1. Thinking Wilson is even on the same planet as Gallup is laughable. Dallas offense has been good without Gallup just because of the amount of talent on the team. How that is even being used as an argument against Gallup makes no sense. Gallup makes this offense even harder to defend. Anyone suggesting that nooone looking forward to his return is a casual fan who doesn’t understand how good MG really is.

  2. CW has stepped up to the WR3 position and has made several outstanding catches in key situations.He has been a pleasant surprise(to fame,I don’t claim to have known he would play as well as he has).That said,Gallup is better, he is a #1 WR on over 90% of the teams in the NFL.

  3. Ok let me say once more that I’m not against MG matter of fact I hope he comes back and has a thousand yard season ! What I am saying is that CW has came in and given us quality play with few drops ! He is a good route runner , he is a threat on reverses, he can throw the ball on trick plays bottom line he has just produced for us! By the way with MG being the number one receiver before AC came is right but he was basically the only receiver we had and our offense couldn’t hardly get a first down but when AC came the offense came alive!

  4. He’s the designated #3. And kest ones forget he was Dak’s best receiver before we traded for Amari and before we drafted Cenderius. So to not see his return would further increase the potency of the offense, is a lack of insight. His chemistry has been there for going on 4 years with Dak. The fact that Wilson is a seldom used #4 who came in and created chemistry with Dak us further proof Matt and I are on the same page with Gallups return.

  5. I would like to see CW have the opportunity that MG has had and play alongside AC a couple seasons and if he were targeted as much as MG he would have as much if not more yards! I guess only time will tell! Sure is good to be debating on players that are helping our team instead of complaining about not having any playmakers!

  6. Wilson making a catch at the end of one game doesn’t mean he’s better than Gallup. There’s nothing Wilson can do from a WR standpoint that Gallup can’t, absolutely nothing. You know talent? Um, you think I don’t? When Wilson can gained 1,100 yards playing alongside Cooper then come talk to me. Wilson has 168 yards in six games. That’s less than 30 per. “if he’s even better at all” is a ridiculous statement

  7. No we haven’t forgotten about MG and he is a plus for us but CW has showed us that he deserves to be in this line up simply because how versatile he is ! MG is good but we haven’t missed a lick while he has been out matter of fact if CW doesn’t make that first down catch against the Patriots we loose the ball game so Matt don’t try to tell me that MG is that much better than CW I know talent and MG is not that much better if he is even better at all!

  8. Speak for yourself. Nobody that I’ve seen has forgotten about Gallup so don’t know what you’re talking about there. Gallup has been the Cowboys best deep threat and he can lineup in the slot so that versatility comment doesn’t make any sense, with all due respect. Wilson is a good player but he’s not Gallup

  9. I might agree with that last remark Matthew … IF … we were talking about the WR2 role. But as a WR3 (and let’s face it, that’s what Gallup is in this lineup) he doesn’t offer the versatility that Wilson does. Wilson has essentially all but made people forget about Gallup. There has been zero drop-off from the WR3 role, and nobody is concerned about Gallup’s timeline for return. Of all the injured players working their way back to the lineup, Gallup’s return ranks behind Lawrence, Gallimore, Joseph, Hill, and anybody else who can impact the defense?

  10. Good article Matt but I would have to say that right now our receiving group is as solid as a brick wall! Getting MG back is a big plus but I hope we don’t mess up our chemistry !! I wouldn’t mind bringing MG in and letting him get back into the rotation slowly and find a way to keep CW on the field because the dude is a playmaker!

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