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Devin Smith needs to emerge for Cowboys while Michael Gallup is sidelined

The former second-round pick scored his first touchdown since 2015 on Sunday.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys controlled most of Sunday’s game versus Washington en route to a comfortable 31-21 road victory. That win pushed Dallas to 2-0 on the season with both wins coming against division rivals.

Dak Prescott looked sharp during the game, and the Cowboys are feeling confident heading into the week three matchup with the struggling — to put it nicely — Miami Dolphins. Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, but you have to feel pretty good if you are the Cowboys.

There was some not-so-good news coming out of Sunday’s game, though. Defensive tackle Antwaun Woods suffered a knee injury during the contest, which was confirmed to be a sprained MCL on Monday. Arguably bigger news, at least in terms of the offense and its production, is that Michael Gallup also came out of week two banged up.

Gallup is a rising star this season as he develops into a bonafide target opposite of Amari Cooper. Through two games this season, the former Colorado State star has recorded 13 grabs for 226 yards, good for an average of more than 17 yards per reception. Gallup’s strong start to the season will be put on hold, though, as the second year wideout will reportedly miss two-to-four weeks due to arthroscopic surgery, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:

That is, obviously, a blow to the offensive side of the ball. There is no denying how impressive the unit has looked in the season’s first two games. Losing a talent like Gallup for as much as a month could cause a setback.

However, the Cowboys have done a nice job of adding talent to its roster — especially at the wide receiver position. Amari Cooper has been one of the league’s best since arriving in Dallas and Randall Cobb has been a very solid addition to the team.

Devin Smith is a player that could see his stock rise with Gallup on the sideline. The 2015 second-round pick selection has battled injuries and inconsistencies since entering the league out of Ohio State, but the former Buckeye used a strong offseason and preseason to earn a spot on the Cowboys’ 53-man squad.

Prior to Smith making the roster, we broke down what he could potentially add to this team. Hint: speed and explosive plays.

There is hope that Kellen Moore will take advantage of stretching the field as he is now in charge of the offense. We all know what a healthy Amari Cooper can do and it appears that Dak Prescott and Michael Gallup are on the same page heading into the season, as well.

Devin Smith has the ability to potentially add a dynamic to this offense in spurts as a rotational guy as well — provided, of course, that he can stay healthy and that his preseason success translates to the regular season.

Yours truly created a thread on Twitter (with videos) that looked at Smith’s success at Ohio State and what he could do in Dallas:

We did not get to see Smith get on the field in week one versus the Giants, but things changed quickly when the Cowboys traveled to the east coast for week two. Smith not only got on the field in the second game of the season, he made a pretty significant play in the process.

With the Cowboys trailing by a touchdown, the team needed to find a way to get on the board. Much like the previous week, the offense responded well.

Dak Prescott dropped back on second down, surveyed the field, and threw a dime to Devin Smith for a 51-yard touchdown. Smith, ironically, was covered by Josh Norman (albeit, the Washington corner was expecting safety help over the top).

On his first catch since the 2016 season, Smith showcased his deep threat skills that made him so dangerous for the Buckeyes. Smith used his speed to get down the field and gain leverage in his route while giving more than enough room for Dak to place the ball. It helped that there was no safety to help, but Smith did his job.

The 51-yarder was certainly the highlight of Smith’s day, but he also added a pair of other catches during the game as well. In the end, Smith finished with three grabs for 74 yards, leading the team in yardage in week two.

The Ohio State product averaged just under 25 yards per reception on Sunday. Even taking away the deep touchdown, Smith averaged more than 11-yards per grab on his other two catches. Smith was one of the electrifying talents in all of college football as he stretched the field game after game for the Buckeyes — a big reason why the Jets took him with the 37th overall pick in the draft. If he can stay healthy, he has the talent to continue to so in Moore’s offense.

Jason Garrett seemed to have come away impressed with what he saw on Sunday, stating on Monday that Smith “obviously will play more”

Devin Smith entered the game versus Washington because Gallup took a shot to the knee during the series before and the Ohio State product took advantage of the opportunity. The Cowboys are hoping that Smith continues to take advantage of the opportunities that he’ll be given in the coming weeks.

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