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WR Michael Gallup Seeing Increased Role in Slot

So much was made of the Cowboys trio of wide receivers last season, but hopes for all three eclipsing 1,000 yards were dashed when was lost for the season in week five. With Prescott ready to go, even higher expectations carry over into 2021 for , , and .

Cooper was activated off PUP on Tuesday, and while fans may not see him do much in  , he's expected to be a full-go for week one. Lamb has been one of the stars of Cowboys camp in Cooper's absence, showing a huge jump from year one to two as he's come down with highlight reel catches.

This leaves Michael Gallup right where he loves to be. The under-the-radar receiver is appreciated much more in Dallas than he is around the league, but Cowboys opponents will have to prepare for Gallup as both an outside deep threat and slot target this season.

A contract season for Michael Gallup, the Cowboys are not expected to extend Gallup until after the season. Gallup told the media that he's labeled as a deep ball threat, and the Colorado State product has led the team in yards per reception among starters in each of his three seasons. ( and had a higher yards per reception in 2018 and 2019, but on just eight and five catches respectively).

Gallup was on pace for 1,114 yards with Prescott through five games in 2020, which matches up closely with his stats from 2019. It's Gallup's technical ability as a route runner that make him so consistent, and playing in the slot will take full advantage of this. Able to burst off the line and take the top off a , Gallup also uses his hands well to gain leverage inside and extend away from his frame to make catches in traffic.

The Cowboys of a year ago hardly ever resembled the unit that will hopefully take the field against the Buccaneers when the season kicks off in less than a month. There were glimpses of how OC wants to create mismatches in the , and freeing a receiver like Gallup to play all over the field could be a huge part of it. A lighter Amari Cooper and speedy Lamb on the outside maintain the Cowboys vertical threat, while depth players like and rookie may also see reps inside.

The rest of the Cowboys receivers will have their next chance to stand out in the team's second game at the Cardinals on Friday. With the starters as written in stone as any position on this roster, it's been difficult to find a hidden gem at WR through the thus far – unless this label still belongs to an emerging star in Michael Gallup, even after a catch like the one above.

Sean Martin
Sean Martin
Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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The WR position is our best and deepest position on the team. Gallup is showing his versatility, by lining up in the slot. It may be a good idea to move guys around, lining them up in different spots, to hopefully disrupt the defense somewhat. I think all three starters have the ability to line up anywhere on the LOS.

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