We have already spoken quite a bit about how Michael Gallup just didn’t look right in the 2022 season. Coming out of 2021 with a torn ACL in December of that year, his recovery time led him straight into training camp. Added on to that is the fact that many athletes take another season to finally get their full physical abilities back, not to mention trust in their body. That all seemed to happen to Gallup as his 2022 numbers were significantly down from what he usually does.
Along with that, his number one trait was missing. Gallup had an unbelievable ability to go up for a contested deep ball and get his hands on it, all while contorting his body and feet to land in bounds along the sideline. That’s how he became a big-time, deep-ball threat without blazing speed.
The Cowboys are hoping that all returns with his health this year, and so far reports from OTAs and offseason workouts are painting a positive picture. The mothership has an article dealing with some of this, but also laid down some other facts, like the fact that Dallas is trying Gallup in other positions among the wide receiver corps, and expanding his route tree.
“I think Michael’s very important,” said head coach Mike McCarthy ahead of Thursday’s practice at The Star in Frisco. “I think the biggest thing for Michael, and he wants it too, he just wants to have a healthy season. He looks good. This is really the first time, in my time here, that he’s had a full offseason program.
“He’s definitely very important.”
And you can expect to see Gallup utilized as more than simply a “go and get it” wideout, which is the strongest point of his game, as McCarthy and newly-appointed offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer have bigger plans for him in complement to CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks.
“… Just conversations we’ve had, particularly with Brian Schottenheimer, giving him some more opportunities inside,” McCarthy added. “Expanding his responsibility [route tree] and checklist, he’s been pretty much in school here at X receiver but we feel like he can do more.”
Gallup has been used in a very specific way during his time in Dallas, so it’s interesting that the offense, now under Mike McCarthy and Brian Schottenheimer, is trying something new with him. The caveat here is that teams talk about, and try, all kinds of new stuff in the offseason, but it doesn’t always translate to the field during the regular season. Either the player doesn’t really take to the new responsibilities so using him in that way doesn’t make sense, or the offensive coordinator/play-caller falls back into old habits and doesn’t try to incorporate the new things into the games.
But if the Cowboys can use Gallup in new ways, then they will have a very versatile receiving corps. Both CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks can line up in different spots and be used in different ways. If Gallup also gets the hang of that, it will be a nightmare matchup for opposing defensive coordinators.