The alpha dog receiver on the Dallas Cowboys is unquestionably Amari Cooper, but there’s reason to believe it will be Michael Gallup who leads the team in TDs in 2019
Sport DFW recently asked Dallas Cowboys fans, which receiver is most likely to lead the team in touchdown receptions? Now, the first name that comes to mind is probably Pro Bowler Amari Cooper. Cooper is head and shoulders above his WR brethren on the Cowboys and seems like the obvious answer.
But the right answer may not be the obvious answer. And when weighing Michael Gallup’s strengths against Amari Cooper’s weakness (weakness? – you know what I mean), it might be Gallup who takes the crown here in 2019. Here’s why…
Perhaps it’s just recency effect that’s tainting our perspective, but Gallup has been a beast throughout training camp and in the preseason. While Cooper has been nursing his wounds, Gallup has been racking up the deep balls, winning jump balls, and dominating red zone looks.
Again, we haven’t seen much of Amari this year, and with Amari back in the fold now, the distribution of the Dallas aerial attack is certain to change, but Gallup has been on fire.
Last season, he ended on a high note, pulling in six balls for 119 yards in the Dallas Cowboys playoff loss to the LA Rams. And this year, he picked up right where he laid off, being a weekly preseason deep target for Dak Prescott. The only difference is the two are now consistently connecting.
Combine that with Gallup’s ability to win 50-50 ball scenarios and his progress as a fade and back shoulder target in the redzone, and you have a WR built for double-digit TDs.
We’re not here to clown on our savior of the 2018 season. I hold a high regard for Cooper and think he’ll be pushing top-5 status by the end of this season. But Coop has never been a strong goal line option. Last season he only pulled in 3 catches on 8 targets within the 10-yard line. That’s good for only 37 percent completion percentage and 2 touchdowns.
In 2017, Cooper was also 3-for-8 inside the 10. And the season before that, he was 0-for-7. In all fairness, Cooper has an all-around game that make him better near the end zone than the numbers indicate, but it’s certainly not his strength.
Now Gallup’s 66.67 percent on a whopping 3 targets isn’t anything to make a case about either. But the case with Gallup is about his progression in Year 2. Copper, while young and still improving, has been in the league for four years and never been a great red zone option.
Finally, it’s the overall talent of Cooper that helps Gallup. Cooper will always draw the bulk of the defenses’ attention this season, leaving Cooper, slot man Randall Cobb, and Jason Witten to matchup against lesser talent. This bodes well for Gallup.
What do you think? Do you think Cooper has the leg up? Or maybe you think the combination of Ezekiel Elliott (who led the team in receptions in 2018) and Tony Pollard (who appears to be Alvin Kamara-like) can combine to take the top spot. Tell us what you think…
- Published on 09/06/2019 at 11:01 AM
- Last updated at 09/06/2019 at 07:46 AM