Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, WR Michael Gallup Led NFL in Unreal Category

Dak Prescott and Michael Gallup

Getty Dak Prescott and Michael Gallup

There’s something special brewing between Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Michael Gallup, the now-forgotten man of the three-headed-monster at wide receiver.

Gallup quietly enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign in 2019, stationed alongside WR1 Amari Cooper. “Quietly,” because Gallup topped the league in an impressive category and few batted an eyelash.

According to Pro Football Focus, incredibly, five of his six touchdown receptions came when Prescott was under pressure. Tied for second were Keenan Allen and Tyler Lockett, both of whom had four, and both of whom were extensions of high-end quarterbacks (Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson).

Speaking of Prescott, derided by much of the fan base as not a high-end QB, he too paced the NFL, tying for first among 2019 signal-callers with 10 TD passes under duress. In this same category, his 1,259 air yards and 79.5 percent passer rating ranked third and eighth, respectively.

The team’s 2018 third-round pick, Gallup finished last season with 66 catches for 1,107 yards and the aforementioned six scores. He made 14 appearances and 12 starts, as Dallas shuttled around Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin.

Gallup offers fascinating potential in a well-oiled aerial attack, but his upside in 2020 — and perhaps for the long term — may be capped by the addition of first-round rookie wideout CeeDee Lamb, whose professional ceiling is indisputably higher. There are many mouths to feed, including Ezekiel Elliott’s, and only so many scraps to go around.

Still, the retention of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who maximized Gallup’s ability, and hiring of new head coach Mike McCarthy, a passing-game enthusiast, offsets some of the worry.

Gallup should continue to get “his,” as it’s plainly obvious who Prescott relies upon in risky situations — situations that often resolve fortuitously.

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Dak Given Surprising Placement in New Power Rankings

Prescott is a better quarterback than the likes of Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Drew Brees, and — wait for it — Carson Wentz. This, according to OTBSports.com, which placed the Cowboys’ bedrock at No. 4 overall in its latest QB power rankings, behind only Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers.

Stat Caveat: Dak Prescott was 62% accurate on throws that travelled further than 15 yards downfield, the best rate in the NFL.

In 2019, Dak Prescott was the second-most accurate quarterback in the NFL. He was the second-most accurate quarterback on third downs and the most accurate quarterback in the NFL on third-and-long. He was also the most accurate passer on straight dropbacks. The Cowboys’ problem last year was Prescott’s receivers dropping more passes than any other receiving corps in the league. That and Jason Garrett being the worst coach in the NFL.

Prescott, like Gallup, took a massive leap forward last year, throwing for 4,902 yards (one shy of tying the single-season franchise record, second-most in the league) and 30 touchdowns. He added a personal-best 388 completions, 8.2 yards-per-average, and 68 completions of 20-plus yards. His 65.1-percent completion rate and 99.7 passer rating were the second-highest of his starting tenure.


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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL