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Michael Gallup, Leighton Vander Esch draw strong reviews from NFL scouts

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Two young Cowboys have caught the attention of people around the league.

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore have been all of the talk following the Cowboys’ impressive season opener that saw Prescott have, arguably, the best game of his career while throwing for over 400 yards and four touchdowns while putting 35 points on the scoreboard.

Cowboys fans are not the only people that came away impressed with how Dallas performed during the first weekend of the 2019 NFL season.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller talked to NFL scouts about some of the impressive week one performers for his weekly Insider Buzz column, and there were strong words said regarding two of the Cowboys’ young contributors: 2018 first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch and 2018 third-round selection Michael Gallup.

Gallup has looked like he was poised to take the next step this season following a promising rookie campaign and a productive offseason and training camp in which he developed better on-field chemistry with Prescott. The connection between the two was off at times last season, but the work that the two put in was evident often in week one.

The Colorado State Rams product was targeted seven times and set career highs in catches (7) and yards (158) on Sunday versus the Giants, averaging over 22 yards per grab. Only Sammy Watkins recorded more yards than Gallup.

One scout told Miller that the second-year wideout was “probably the biggest surprise” of week one:

Scout’s Take: “Probably the biggest surprise of the whole week was Gallup. Dude went O-F-F and has Dak [Prescott] looking like a real franchise quarterback.”

Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore should have a lot of fun this season, provided that Gallup continues to develop into a quality option across from Amari Cooper. A top-three of Cooper, Gallup, and Randall Cobb has to be challenging for defenses to defend.

Gallup was not the only one to catch the eyes of people around the league.

Leighton Vander Esch had a highly productive rookie season, seemingly always around the football each and every week. The Boise State Broncos product earned second-team All-Pro honors in his first season in the league and made big play after big play in 2018.

A scout compared the young, promising Cowboys linebacker to one of the elite linebackers in the NFL:

Scout’s Take: “LVE is just so poised and smart...plus really athletic. It’s like watching a young, healthy Luke Kuechly again.”

That’s certainly some high praise for a guy that is entering his second season of professional football. Sunday was not the greatest that we have seen LVE look, but 55 still totaled 10 tackles and was credited with a half-sack. Plus, not many players can make the play that he did above.

Many have praised Will McClay and the Cowboys front office for their ability to hit in the draft. Leighton Vander Esch and Michael Gallup only solidify that.