Michael Gallup wasn’t good last season. Coming off January ACL injury, it’s not hard to understand why. Even players who are medically cleared struggle to regain their form the first year back from knee surgery. It made how the Dallas Cowboys handled the entire situation all the more confusing.
The Dallas Cowboys doubled down on Gallup last offseason. Not only did they sign their injured player to significant contract, but they traded away their WR1, Amari Cooper, forcing them to rely on Gallup to contribute significantly.
If Michael Gallup can’t regain his preinjury form the Dallas Cowboys may regret putting their trust in him.
As everyone knows, 2022 turned out poorly from a WR standpoint. Gallup didn’t start until Week 4 and the Cowboys started the season without three of their top four WRs from a season before. Things were so bleak, UDFA Dennis Houston was forced to start and Noah Brown, a career WR4/5) generally served the WR2.
It was a colossal miscalculation from the Dallas front office.
They corrected course in 2023 when they traded for Brandin Cooks in March. He slides into WR2 while Gallup takes his rightful place as WR3. This will all work out fine as long as Gallup is as good as he says he is.
“I feel good.”
When asked about 2022 whether or not he had doubts whether or not he’d return to form Gallup was candid:
"“You say it, you believe it,” Gallup said. “I didn’t really want to say it. I had thoughts but I blocked them out.”"
Injured and/or old players notoriously overplay their ability, so this isn’t Gallup-specific. How many times do we hear things like “I’m in the best shape of my career” and “I’m back. I feel good. I’m ready to pick up where I left off.”
Players have to convince themselves of a lie before they can convince anyone else. Sports are mental as well as physical, after all.
So how do we know Gallup is telling the truth this time? How do we know the Dallas Cowboys are telling the truth?
WR DeAndre Hopkins has recently hit the market. If Gallup is really back, the Cowboys don’t need him. If Gallup is less than his pre-injured self, then Dallas does need him. It’s as simple as that.
The NFC is wide open and Dallas has a great opportunity to strike while the conference is cold. They can’t afford to run out of playmakers like they did last season. Remember that feeling? Once Tony Pollard was lost in the divisional round it was the quadruple-team CeeDee Lamb show and Dallas had no one else to turn to.
They can’t afford to run out of firepower again.
Michael Gallup says he’s back and the Dallas Cowboys need him to be. Nothing to do know but sit back and wait for him to show it.