Dallas Cowboys Prediction: Career years for Cooper, Gallup, and Lamb

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys have high expectations in 2021. Fielding what is regarded as the third most talented roster in the NFL, Dallas is equipped to make a lot of noise. Led by their incomparable receiving corps, the Dallas Cowboys look to dominate through the air and could very well finish with the top offense in the league when all is said and done.

The Dallas air game might be so good, all three of their top receivers are on track to set career highs in receiving yards. Don’t underestimate the uniqueness and rarity of that bold prediction.

Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup will all have career seasons with the Dallas Cowboys this year.

For three guys who’ve accomplished nothing that may be not so might of a statement to make. But I’m talking about some pedigreed and proven players here. Amari Cooper is a four-time Pro Bowler. Two of the three have 1000+ yard seasons and the third just missed his by 65 yards. All three have been starters most of their careers. And I’m saying all three are going to set career highs, sharing the same ball in Dallas.

Allow me to explain why.

The 2021 Dallas Cowboys offense is unquestionably the best offense any of these three have played in as pros. Last year hinted at what this offense could accomplish before Dak was lost to a season ending injury in Week 5. And this year the offense is even more impressive with the O-line returning healthy (La’el Collins is expected back in Week 1) and everyone extra-motivated.

CeeDee Lamb

Age: 22

Career best yardage: 935

Let’s start with the easiest one first: CeeDee Lamb. As a rookie CeeDee collected 935 yards. He did so while leaning the offense and playing with four different QBs. Before Dak was hurt he was averaging 86.6 per game which figures out as 1385.6 for the season. Those are All-Pro numbers right there.

Looking at him in camp there’s no reason to think he won’t blow those previous numbers out of the water. Kellen Moore is going to move him around and find ways to get him the ball. Of the three top WRs, we can probably expect him to get the most snaps (based on age, injury history, and progression). All CeeDee has to do to beat his career best is average 55 per game in 2021. He could do that in his sleep.

Michael Gallup

Age: 25

Career best yardage: 1107

Things get a little trickier with Gallup. His previous career high had him at 1107 back in 2019. That year with Dak he posted his highest yards/reception (16.8) and was a big play machine on the Dallas Cowboys. His 79.1 yards/game put him in some very good company as well. But Gallup would only play in 14 games that season so he was really on pace for a 1217 season. All Gallup has to do is be as good as he was in 2019 and he’ll beat his career best by a good margin.

Working against Gallup is the fact CeeDee Lamb is now in the mix. If Lamb isn’t the top option in this offense, he’s probably the second, meaning Gallup’s market share is going to take a hit.

But using the first five games of last year we can see what Gallup gets in a 3-WR system. In the first five weeks, Gallup averaged 69.6 yards/game. Spread over 16 games that’s 1114 (just a tick above his numbers in 2019). Now factor in the extra game on the schedule and you have a pace of 1183 yards.

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The final thing to consider is Gallup’s development and his motivation. It’s safe to assume Michael Gallup is a better receiver here in his fourth year than he was back in his second year. His progression alone should boost his numbers. Then we have to factor in this is his contract year. Whether players admit it or not, they are extra motivated to perform in contract seasons.

Even with a smaller market share of passes, Michael Gallup shouldn’t have a problem scoring career highs here in 2021.

Amari Cooper

Age: 27

Career best yardage: 1189

Despite being a six-year veteran and four-time Pro Bowler, Amari Cooper is set up to have his best season as a pro as well. Like Gallup, Cooper’s best season came in 2019 B.C.D (before CeeDee). That season he averaged 74.3 yards/game and played all 16 games.

But in 2020, sharing the ball with CeeDee and Gallup, he averaged 84.8. That projects to 1441 over a full 17-game season. Easily eclipsing his career season from 2019.

There are five things working in all of their favor:

  1. Age: all three are at or below their prime. No one is on the decline.
  2. Goals: Since all three goals are under 1,200 yards, none of the previous career highs should be considered unreachable or unrealistic.
  3. Extra game: Never underestimate the impact of that extra game this season
  4. Dak: Dak Prescott is back and has shown before he can spread the love at a rate that will give them all career highs.
  5. The Dallas Defense: the Dallas Cowboys defense isn’t good. It’s improved, but it’s not good. That means the Dallas Cowboys will be a lot of shootouts in 2021. They are going to need to score a lot of points to win games and don’t seem to be hiding from that fact. In fact, they seem to embrace it.

We know Ezekiel Elliott is going to get his share of check-downs and screens. Tony Pollard will as well. And with Blake Jarwin coming back, we can bet there could be more passes to the TEs up the seam as well. But even with that all said – the stage is set for all three of the Dallas Cowboys top WRs to set career highs this season. That’s a bold prediction.

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What other bold predictions do you have Cowboys Nation? Let’s hear it!

  • Published on 09/02/2021 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 09/02/2021 at 12:47 PM