3 Cowboys players who must start the season strong in Week 1

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2. Michael Gallup, WR

The 2022 season was extremely disappointing for wide receiver Michael Gallup. After Gallup tore his ACL in Week 17 of the 2022 season against the Arizona Cardinals, the Cowboys wideout struggled to produce in his first year post-injury.

He had just 39 catches for 424 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games last year. He also only had 50-plus receiving yards in one contest in 2022 -- Week 12 against the Giants.

All offseason, though, Gallup has reiterated that he is in a better space, mentally, than he was in 2022. He also feels like his knee is stronger, which will help him get back to contributing to the Cowboys' offense at a high level.

The 27-year-old has definitely dealt with his fair share of injuries over the years. He has missed 11 games over the past two seasons. But the talent is there if he can stay healthy. In 2019, Gallup had over 65 catches and 1,100 receiving yards in a career year.

With CeeDee Lamb and Cooks also in Dallas' offense, a 1,100-yard season might not be attainable for Gallup. However, the Cowboys will need the wideout to return to that strong level of play in 2023, especially if they want to score points against top defenses like the Eagles and 49ers.

Gallup was one of the worst at creating separation against defenders last year. Part of the blame could go to his knee, which likely wasn't built back up to full speed last season. But, if the former 2018 third-round pick can become a reliable WR3 for quarterback Dak Prescott, Dallas' offense can be even more dangerous this year.

Gallup is one player who certainly needs to start the season strong in 2023. Getting him a couple of early catches against the Giants will surely build his confidence for the rest of the year.