Dallas Cowboys: What should expectations be for Michael Gallup in 2020?

Dallas Cowboys fans have a wide range of expectations for Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Michael Gallup enters his third season in 2020 and expectations of his play have been all over the board due to the emergence of rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in Dallas this offseason. Yet the expectations may lie right in the middle of what fans and media are saying.

A lot of the talk around the Cowboys ever since the NFL Draft was the possibility of the team having three 1,000-yards receivers in 2020. The mind starts to race with the possibilities of a receiver corp which has the emerging Gallup, four-time pro-bowler Amari Cooper, and new first-round pick Lamb.

Is this what America’s Team needs in 2020 to be successful though, a passing operation with enough passes to accomplish the mission of getting three receivers over the 1,000-yards benchmark?

That is up for debate, as some see a one-dimensional team if the Cowboys accomplish that stat, a stat the 2019 Los Angeles Chargers came within seven-yards of, even though the team managed just five victories. Some see the offensive capability of Dallas giving that stat a chance. To pass for over 4,000 yards and rush for near 2,000 yards, being top-5 in each category, like they were in 2019.

Yards don’t equal success in the NFL sadly and the year-to-year projection of players can be tricky. Lamb might live up to the hype instantly or he might take time to develop into an efficient NFL route runner. Gallup might see over 100-targets again in 2020 or he might see less, only the season can reveal that information.

Still, in my opinion, a well-balanced offense that can lead to success does not feature three separate receivers targeted more than 100-times. Not one of the 2019 playoff teams came close to achieving this statistic. So, the discussion then becomes will Lamb take away a significant piece of Gallup’s 113 targets last season? That is how to set his expectations for 2020.

Setting the projection for Gallup

I love going back to the example of the 2016 Dallas Cowboys as a team that featured not only a successful offense but a template for 2020. That season the trio of Wide receivers Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley, along with tight end Jason Witten respectively had 96, 98, and 95 targets each, and that featured Bryant missing three-games.

Using that template of success and the information that no 2019 playoff team had three-receivers targeted over 100-times. I would project the 2020 targets like this.

Amari Cooper: 120 targets (119 in 2019) 
Michael Gallup: 100 targets (113 in 2019) 
CeeDee Lamb: 85 targets 

Using this, Gallup who averaged 9.8 yards per target in 2019, would sit right around 1,000 yards and other factors would decide if that estimate ends up being higher or lower than 980 yards. So, a lot of opinions are correct, his targets might decrease due to an emerging Lamb and still might repeat another excellent season as a number two option.

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The expectations shouldn’t get far above his 1,107 yards last campaign though, the highest amount last season by a receiver second on his team in yards receiving, was Tampa Bay Wide Receiver Mike Evans with 1,157 yards. 176 yards behind teammate Chris Godwin.  So, expect a similar season for Gallup in 2020 compared to 2019, even though a slight dip in numbers is almost expected.