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Michael Gallup among Cowboys players facing the most pressure in 2023

Michael Gallup never seemed fully recovered from his ACL tear in 2023, adding to the pressure he is under this season.

Dallas Cowboys v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

When it comes to players who need a bounce-back season for the Dallas Cowboys in 2023, a name that sticks out the most is wide receiver Michael Gallup. Gallup struggled to make any meaningful impact throughout the 2022 NFL season. He started 11 games for the team this past season and finished with just 39 receptions for 424 receiving yards, and four touchdowns. He averaged 30.3 yards per game, with his best game coming against the New York Giants in Week 12 when he had five receptions for 63 receiving yards. According to Next Gen Stats, Gallup averaged just 2.4 yards of separation in 2022, which ranked as the eleventh lowest among the league wide receivers.

It is fair to argue that Gallup played this way because he was still fully recovering from his ACL tear from Week 17 of the 2021 season. He returned to action for the Cowboys much quicker than many people believed he would, and his lackluster impact could have been a big reason why. Despite this, many people have voiced their frustration with Gallup’s production, especially considering the team essentially chose to trade former Cowboys WR Amari Cooper because they signed Gallup to a contract extension.

The front office has made it clear that they want to improve their wide receiving room and get more explosive playmaking across from WR CeeDee Lamb. They went out and traded for veteran WR Brandin Cooks this offseason, and have had several visits and interviews with draft prospects at the position. Gallup should still be treated as a starter on this team, but he could quickly fall to the fourth option at wide receiver on this roster if he has a season similar to his 2022 campaign. Under a new play-caller in head coach Mike McCarthy, the team hopes to feature him more in the receiving game.

If the Dallas Cowboys choose to draft a wide receiver early in the 2023 NFL draft, and WR Brandin Cooks has a productive campaign in the upcoming season, then the Cowboys could look to potentially get out of Gallup’s contract if he does not make a serious improvement. While Gallup is technically under contract through the 2026 season, the team has a potential “out” in his contract in the 2024 offseason. Gallup’s play will be something to keep an eye on throughout the upcoming season, as it will not just be important for the Cowboys success as a team, but also could be important for his long-term future in Dallas.

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