Michael Gallup proved to be valuable piece to the Dallas Cowboys last season and may soon prove to be much, much more in 2019.
Last Spring, the Dallas Cowboys waited until the third round to attack one of their most glaring needs – wide receiver. After logging 840 snaps, 33 catches for 507 yards, Michael Gallup gained valuable experience, showed noticeable improvement, and may prove to be one of their best personnel decisions of 2018 when all is said and done.
Michael Gallup didn’t have quite the season that D.J. Moore had or Calvin Ridley had. Each of those first rounders pulled in over 50 receptions and over 750 yards. Ridley even tagged on 10 touchdown receptions (no small feat for a slightly built receiver).
But Michael Gallup worked out perfectly with the Dallas Cowboys. Placed in the impossible role of WR1 early in the season (top corners rarely move inside to cover the slot and no one was afraid of Allen Hurns), Gallup started slow.
But as the season wore on, Gallup became the deep ball threat the Dallas Cowboys so desperately needed. And playing second fiddle to Amari Cooper, Gallup started to break out in a big way late in the season.
While Gallup’s catch rate is below industry standard, his routes were considerably above industry standard. So while he didn’t catch a high number of his targets, it’s somewhat excusable given how deep he typically was, and it’s an inefficiency you can live with given the potential reward it offers if successful.
Gallup may not have been the highest receiver on your or my draft boards last year but he was the top receiver on a few. Not only did notable DFW draftniks rate Gallup above all others, but Pro Football Focus did as well. Notably, Gallup was second in yards per route in college (a stat known to predict future NFL success).
With a 92 rating, Michael Gallup was the top rated receiver in the draft. This isn’t to be confused with being the best pro prospect (prospects need big potential and elite tangible skills). Gallup didn’t have the best speed, enormous size, or next-level moves. But he had excellent routes, a knack for winning 50/50 balls, and a special bit of “nasty” helpful in breaking tackles and blocking for others. In all, he executed the best, therefore his rating was the best.
In short, Michael Gallup is the perfect WR for the Dallas Cowboys. While I admit, I liked D.J. Moore in the first round, I’d much rather have Leighton Vander Esch and Gallup than Moore and god-knows-what in the third round.
Off-ball LBs who were drafted in the 3rd round: Fred Warner, Jerome Baker, Malik Jefferson, Oren Burks, and Dorian O’Daniel (and the first three were drafted even before Dallas went on the clock in the third).
Last season, Gallup averaged 15.4 yards per reception. And in the biggest game of the season, Gallup led the passing offense with 119 yards in LA.
More from Dallas Cowboys
- Dallas Cowboys Linebackers: 2023 Position Overview
- Ballhawk University: Why the Cowboys will be takeaway leaders
- Dallas Cowboys Player to Watch: Sleeper TE John Stephens, Jr.
- Dallas Cowboys: The impact of Micah Parsons and a well-rounded secondary
- Dallas Cowboys still unsure about their left guard position for 2023
All of Gallup’s scouting says how reliable and consistent he is running routes (an indicator of sustainable success). Yet in his rookie season he was predominantly a deep threat (something we questioned heading into the draft). So he was forced to focus on his weaknesses and has yet to really lean on his strengths.
Combine these and you have a complete receiver. In Year 2, we can realistically expect Gallup to add his route running savvy that he showed in college and add to his ability to get deep which he showed as a rookie.
He’s a try-hard athlete who turns out to have special skills as well. An offseason of weights says he can take more productive snaps at the X spot next season (the outside receiver who lines up outside on the line and faces press coverage).
This will free up Amari Cooper to line up at Z or Y and produce those big plays we all know and love, unencumbered by the rigors of press coverage.
Michael Gallup proved he has an extra gear that creates separation at the last moment and that was the biggest question heading into the draft. Combine that with his proven route-running ability and you have a complete package at receiver.
- Published on 07/10/2019 at 12:38 PM
- Last updated at 07/10/2019 at 12:38 PM