Michael Gallup is ready to roll — something the Dallas Cowboys receiver wasn’t able to say a year ago.
Gallup was hampered by injuries in 2021, missing time with a strained calf and then tearing his ACL later in the season. Gallup was not able to do his typical preparation for the year and missed the first three games of the 2022 season. When he got back on the field, Gallup did not look like his old self, which he acknowledged.
“You go out there, you want to play like you always play,” Gallup said, per the team’s official site. “You know how you’re supposed to play. That didn’t happen for me last year. I was thinking too much. My knee was feeling sore and it was just different.”
Gallup finished with just 39 catches for 424 yards and four touchdowns, lacking the big-play ability he showed early in his career that earned him an extension with the Cowboys.
Injury Created Mental Block for Cowboys WR Micahel Gallup
The injury created a mental block for Gallup as he tried to get on track. He was telling himself the wrong things during his preparation, which spilled over to his play on the field.
“I was thinking it, but I didn’t want to say it,” Gallup said. “If you say it, you believe it. I didn’t really want to say it. I had those thoughts but you gotta block them out.”
However, with a healthy offseason under his belt, Gallup is confident he can get back to being a key part of the Cowboys’ offense. He’s already been working with quarterback Dak Prescott and feels his explosiveness returning.
“Last year at this time I couldn’t walk,” Gallup said. “We’re moving though. I got a couple days under my belt. I was out there catching balls with Dak. I feel springy again, I feel good. It’s way different.
“I’m very confident I’ll feel like that guy again. Very confident. It just feels different. It’s kind of in the air. I smile every time I walk in that facility.”
Cowboys Confident Micah Gallup Can Bounce Back
Prior to the year, Gallup signed a five-year, $57.5 million contract in the offseason. It was coming off a pair of seasons where he combined to catch 125 passes for 1950 yards and 11 touchdowns. There’s confidence within the Cowboys locker room that a healthy Gallup will return to form.
“So just understanding that my mans was playing to a lot of injuries,” Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb said. “Granted he was prepared to play. You’ll get a couple of MG plays — crazy catches or just hard catches. But you never know what anyone’s going through. I just found out that he had another surgery on his knee and ankle again.”
Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones echoed that sentiment from Lamb on Gallup.
“I think Michael Gallup has a great chance to take the next step, in terms of what he can do,” Jones said at the combine in March. “Coming off a major ACL, I think it’s pretty typical the guys improve from the first year to the second year. There’s usually a jump and I fully expect Michael to do that.”
If Gallup can step up, the Cowboys should have a lethal trio with Brandin Cooks stretching the field and Lamb continuing to develop as the team’s top option.