Cowboys News: Michael Gallup gives uplifting health update, former Dallas LB passes away
By Jerry Trotta
The Dallas Cowboys got Dak Prescott a bonafide No. 2 receiver when they acquired Brandin Cooks for pennies on the dollar. Cooks' speed and skillset will benefit the entire offense, including Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup.
Prescott now has a second receiver who can beat defenses over the top and create separation. In turn, Lamb should see fewer double teams.
Creating separation is something Gallup struggled mightily with last season, which was slowed by his recovery from February ACL surgery.
There was hope that Gallup would return to pre-injury form later in the season, but it quickly became clear that wasn't happening. He did well to play 14 games, but had just 39 catches for 424 yards (career low) and four touchdowns to show for it.
Keep in mind Gallup had just signed a five-year, $62.5 million extension that offseason, so he desperately needs to bounce back in 2023.
Gallup certainly has his doubters after 2022, but the following quote indicates he's cleared the physical and mental hurdles post-surgery.
Cowboys' Michael Gallup ready to bounce back from ACL surgery
Gallup's play will ultimately do the talking, but this sounds like a confident player who's ready to contribute consistently again. Not every player hits the ground running immediately upon returning from major knee surgery.
His contract admittedly doesn't look great after last season, but opinions will change quickly if the 27-year-old looks like the player who logged 1,950 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns over the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Surprisingly, Gallup underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and ankle after the 2022 season ended. It was a minor procedure and it thankfully wasn't for the same leg he suffered the torn ACL. It appears the WR was all dinged up while navigating a sore left knee.
That would certainly lend credence as to why he was so ineffective in 2022. If Gallup is as confident and healthy as he makes it out to be, the Cowboys passing game will be nearly impossible to stop following the Cooks trade.
In other Cowboys news, former linebacker Rodrigo Barnes passed away this week.
A former seventh-round pick in 1973, Barnes only lasted rookie season with the Cowboys. He was used primarily on special teams and his NFL career spanned just four seasons largely due to injuries.
Barnes did incredible work as a civil rights activist. Per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, "Barnes was one of the four Black athletes to first integrate the Rice athletic program in the fall of 1968." He also helped create the Black Student Union and led a motion for the Owls to hire more minorities.
We thank Barnes for his work as an activist and send our sincerest condolences to his loved ones during this difficult time.