The Dallas Cowboys offense just hasn’t been the same since Dak Prescott went down in the fifth game of the season. Up until that point, the Cowboys offense was putting up record numbers that were being wasted by a leaky defense. That came to a crashing halt around the same time Prescott’s ankle was rudely turned in the wrong direction.
One particular offensive player has suffered more than others as the long ball started to disappear from the offense. Michael Gallup had become the Cowboys long ball specialist. While he only had one 100-yard game in Prescott’s five games, and he wasn’t exactly crushing the catches per game chart, he was averaging 20.5 yards per reception. Since Prescott went down, he has only had one game with more than a 12 yards per catch average. That was on two catches for 29 yards against Minnesota.
On Tuesday night, he finally topped the 12 yards per catch barrier again, albeit just barely, with a 12.29 yards per catch average. He did catch seven passes this time, his first time reaching that many catches since the Philadelphia game on November 1st. And he scored his first touchdown since all the way back in Week 3 versus Seattle.
This was easily Gallup’s best game of the season since his one monster game against Seattle when he had six catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. Gallup is definitely missing the ability of Prescott to hit the long ball down field, but he made it work last night with Andy Dalton to be the Cowboys biggest offensive threat on the evening.
We have a special honorable mention this week and that goes to offensive line coach Joe Philbin. The Cowboys were forced to play with basically four backups on their offensive line and all the predictions said the Baltimore pass rush/blitz scheme would eat them alive. Except that didn’t happen. Andy Dalton had time to work, Ezekiel Elliott had a decent night running the ball, and the team only gave up one sack which came late in the game.
The Cowboys offense put up 388 yards and had more first downs than the Ravens. If not for a terrible night from Greg Zuerlein and some stalled efforts on promising drives, the Cowboys would have been competitive in the game. All that came from a patchwork offensive line that was coached up by Joe Philbin. It’s hard to make the case that any coach is doing a better job in Dallas this year than Philbin.