Cowboys WR Michael Gallup focused on winning, not impressing other teams in return from calf strain - Calvin Watkins, DMN
While Cedrick Wilson has filled in admirably during Michael Gallup’s extended absence, it’s important to remember the deep ball dynamic Gallup brings to the table —a facet he excels at better than any other receiver on this roster.
The Cowboys’ wide receiver is expected to be activated to the 53-man roster this week after missing eight weeks with a Grade 2 calf strain. He suffered the injury in Week 1 and had to watch Dalton Schultz, Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown take some of the receptions that would have gone his way as the No. 3 option in the passing offense.
“I’ve been ready to get back for so long and [the team is] playing great ball,” Gallup said to The News. “So I just want to be a part of it, and I want to help my team take it all the way. I’m very anxious.”
Gallup is a vertical deep threat this team has missed. Of his 13 career touchdowns, five have covered 30 or more yards. Without Gallup, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper became more involved in the vertical passing game along with Wilson.
“It was definitely very frustrating,” he said. “It comes with the game, injuries happen and for me fortunately it wasn’t anything to keep me out the whole season. I’m blessed about that but definitely mad that I did take that injury. But it’s something to overcome — that’s all it is.”
Tyron Smith’s absence was glaring this past Sunday in Dallas’s 30-16 loss to the Broncos. He’s making progress, but how will the Cowboys manage him between now and Sunday’s game with Atlanta?
The Cowboys have been steadfast in their claim that Tyron Smith’s bone spur issue in his ankle is not something they are concerned about as a long-term problem, but the All-Pro left tackle’s timetable for return is still up in the air.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday morning ahead of the day’s practice that Smith would be in the rehab group, meaning he will not practice with the team. McCarthy then made a point to say that Smith had “made progress” with injury.
Regardless of Smith’s availability, the Cowboys will need their veteran stars to play at a high level against Atlanta in order to bounce back from Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Broncos. But according to McCarthy, some of those veterans also need their body to rest in order to achieve that level for the rest of the season.
Did Vic Fangio, Broncos give rest of NFL the secret to beating the Dallas Cowboys? - Kevin Sherrington, DMN
The Cowboys were thumped for the first time this season, but rather than consider it an outlier, analysts would rather point to a particular vulnerability it seems. If over-confidence was a problem in Sunday’s debacle, self-evaluation is a necessary step in addressing the problem, but don’t dismiss so quickly seven prior weeks of great football.
Even good teams have bad losses, as the Bills, maybe the best all-round squad in the NFL, proved Sunday by losing to Jacksonville. The first trick is convincing the locals it’s just an aberration. Next is proving it to themselves.
Consider what happened to Cincinnati the last couple of weeks. Coming off a 5-2 start, their best in six seasons, and a dominant 41-7 win over Baltimore, the Bengals somehow managed to lose to the Jets, 34-31.
They followed that embarrassment with a 41-16 humiliation at the hands of the Browns, the worst loss to their Ohio rivals since 1987.
Besides figuring out what’s gone wrong lately, the Bengals have had to watch all the goodwill they’d generated go up in smoke. No one wants to talk anymore about the prospects of their first playoff run since 2015. You think it’s tough to be a Cowboys fan these days? Imagine what it must be like to grow up with a Boomer Esiason poster on your wall. The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season. Wave off such history at your own peril. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 31 years in a row? No chance, pal.
Liam Hajrullahu is back with the Cowboys yet again, this time looking to fill in while kicker Greg Zuelein works to come back from the Reserve/COVID19 list.
Hajrullahu, a former CFL All-Star, signed a two-year deal with the Cowboys during the preseason. He appeared in the Cowboys’ preseason game against the Houston Texans while Zuerlein was on the physically unable to perform list with a back issue.
After Zuerlein made three of five kicks in the Cowboys’ season-opening loss to the Bucs the club signed Hajrullahu to the practice squad. But when Zuerlein stepped up a week later vs. the Chargers, making all four of his kicks, Hajrullahu was released from the practice squad.
Once Zuerlein was placed in COVID-19 protocols, the Cowboys held workouts with Hajrullahu and former Cowboys kicker Brett Maher. Hajrullahu went a perfect 12-for-12 on field goals during his workout, a source said.
Cowboys coaches wary of Falcons TE Kyle Pitts: ‘He’ll definitely be a focal point for us’ - Todd Brock, Cowboys Wire
Kyle Pitts is a force of nature at tight end, making him a weapon few defenses can properly counteract or contain. With Dallas needing to bounce back from a rough outing, however, Mike McCarthy, Dan Quinn and company will need to find a way to do exactly that.
The Cowboys coveted Kyle Pitts in April’s draft, just like most every other team in the league. They did their homework on the Florida tight end, but quickly came to realize that Pitts would be unlikely to fall out of the top several spots. The Dallas brain trust was right; Pitts was selected fourth overall by Atlanta, the highest-drafted tight end in history.
So far, he’s living up to expectations. Pitts leads the Falcons in both receiving yards and yards per reception. His 546 yards place him among the top 25 pass-catchers across the entire NFL after nine weeks, and he’s currently moving the sticks for Atlanta on two out of every three receptions.
Now it will be up to the Cowboys’ retooled defense to slow down the talented rookie when he comes to town on Sunday. Head coach Mike McCarthy intimated on Wednesday that, as the team looks to bounce back from their Week 9 nightmare, the big 21-year-old might actually be the piece of the Falcons’ offensive puzzle that he’s most concerned about.