Adding literal injury to the figurative insult that was the Dallas Cowboys‘ Week 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team now will be without wide receiver Michael Gallup for the foreseeable future.
Gallup, who exited in the second half of the 31-29 defeat and never returned, sustained a calf strain and will miss 3-5 weeks, the Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlken reported Friday.
Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy later confirmed in a Friday press conference, without providing specifics, that Gallup suffered a “multi-week” ailment.
The veteran wideout, in the midst of a contract year, is a candidate to land on short-term injured reserve, which would cost him at least three games.
“The injury timeline could make Gallup a candidate to go on injured reserve, from which he’d later be activated,” Gehlken said. “Noah Brown was inactive Thursday following a recent COVID-19 bout. He and Cedrick Wilson are some of Dallas’ options to supply depth behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.”
Gallup functions as the Cowboys’ No. 3 WR behind Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb, both of whom combined for 20 catches, 243 yards, and three touchdowns against the Buccaneers.
Gallup converted seven targets into four receptions for 36 yards prior to leaving the game. His injury was initially classified as an ankle issue.
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Next Man Up
Seeing as availability is the best “ability,” Wilson — not Noah Brown — figures to take Gallup’s place in the pass-catching pecking order. The fourth-year pro logged 34 out of a possible 84 offensive reps against the Buccaneers, finishing with 24 yards on three grabs. Put another way: Wilson played every snap in three WR sets after Gallup (50 snaps) went down.
The Cowboys also have Brown and rookie Simi Fehoko on the active roster, and Osirus Mitchell and Brandon Smith on the practice squad. It’s possible but unlikely the club explores an outside addition to bridge the gap until Gallup’s return.
“[Wilson is] as fine of a young receiver who can play multiple positions,” McCarthy said Friday, per Gehlken. “Noah Brown is the same way.”
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Jerry Jones Reacts to Week 1 Loss
If not for kicker Greg Zuerlein shanking a field goal and extra point, the Cowboys emerge from Raymond James Stadium having sprung a significant upset of the reigning Super Bowl champs. What they got instead, however, was yet another Tom Brady fourth-quarter comeback.
Although the end result was a bitter pill to swallow, Dallas owner/general manager Jerry Jones adopted an optimistic posture, explaining the hard-fought loss to arguably the NFL’s best team portends well for the season’s remainder.
“That was opening night, we were playing the world champs. What an opportunity for a victory. Again David and Goliath. And we played well,” Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan. “To the ones that don’t want to acknowledge a moral victory of what I see is a defense that is going to get better. We have the athletes to get better. We have the scheme to get better. We were playing quality competition…I felt like we paid the price of not really having our kicker during training camp…Offensively we really, in my mind, everything we thought we could be.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL