The Cowboys’ passing attack did not slow down after Gallup left Thursday’s shootout in the second half, with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb combining for 20 catches and 243 yards. This duo will be relied upon going forward, with Gehlken indicating Gallup is facing a three- to five-week absence. Mike McCarthy said Friday this will at least be a multiweek injury.
This is poised to be a pivotal year for Gallup, who may well be auditioning for other teams as a free agent-to-be. The Cowboys are not planning to negotiate with their 2022 free agents before this season ends, and Gallup and Cooper appear to be vying for one salary slot alongside Lamb on next year’s roster. Cooper’s five-year, $100MM contract becomes easier to shed in 2022, though Dallas’ high-priced receiver offered a strong performance to start his sixth NFL season.
Gallup broke through in 2019, totaling 66 catches for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns in just 14 games. With Dak Prescott missing much of last season, and Lamb having arrived as a first-round pick, Gallup took a slight step back (59/843/5 in 16 games). But a quality contract year will make the Colorado State alum an attractive option for receiver-needy teams next March, in the event the Cowboys decide to allocate resources elsewhere.
Dallas has some experience behind Gallup, in fourth-year cog Cedrick Wilson and fifth-year pass catcher Noah Brown. The latter is currently on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. The Cowboys drafted Simi Fehoko in this year’s fifth round.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jonesrecently expressed regret for the way the team handled Dak Prescott‘s extension, which became a three-offseason saga. The quarterback’s $40MM-per-year contract will now have some effects on the way the Cowboys do business.
Gallup, Gregory and Vander Esch profile as the team’s top three 2022 free agents. Each could be elsewhere next season, depending on their respective performances this year. Dallas’ upcoming free agent crop does not bring the kind of high-stakes drama of recent offseasons, when the team either doled out big-ticket extensions (in the cases of Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and DeMarcus Lawrence) or stood down (in the case of Prescott). But Gallup and Gregory could enhance their value with quality contract-year performances, making the Cowboys pay more come 2022 — if they view the starters as long-term pieces.
Cooper’s status will affect Gallup’s. It appears the team recognizes there is only room for one of the two on its 2022 squad, with Gehlken adding that the team expects Gallup to see a big market as a free agent. Cooper’s $20MM-AAV contract becomes easy to shed next year, with the Cowboys saving $16MM in cap space and taking just a $6MM dead-money hit if they cut the former trade acquisition. Cooper, 27, is two years older than Gallup. An either/or scenario creates an interesting subplot for the Cowboys’ passing attack this season.
The Cowboys making Gregory prove it is logical, though they did extend the talented defensive end through 2021 despite his persistent off-field issues. Gregory will be 29 by the time his contract expires, and the former second-round pick has been suspended four times during his career. He is, however, set to be a full-time starter for the first time. This season stands to make a major impact on Gregory’s value ahead of what could be his only notable contract agreement.
Dallas may enter an either/or situation at linebacker soon. The team is set to deploy first-round pickMicah Parsonsthis year, potentially leaving Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith to vie for a slot alongside him in 2022. The Cowboys did not pick up Vander Esch’s fifth-year option, due to his injury troubles. Shedding Smith’s deal next year would saddle the Cowboys with $6.8MM in dead money. How Vander Esch performs this year, and his health status exiting the season, will largely determine his free agency value.
The Washington Football Team was always meant to be a temporary name after Washington ditched their old nickname. Then it became somewhat popular with fans, leading to some consideration of making it permanent. That appears less likely now, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office just “issued an initial refusal” of the team’s attempt to trademark the name, Sam Fortier of the Washington Post reports. The decision cited the “generic geographic nature of the request.”
That doesn’t mean they can’t use the name Washington Football Team for the 2021 season, it just means they can’t enforce the trademark right now for things like merchandising. However, experts that Fortier spoke to seem to think the franchise has a good chance of getting this decision overturned on appeal. Either way, it might further incentivize owner Dan Snyder to go with something entirely new. One expert suggested to Fortier the team could add new elements to make the brand more distinctive, like a mascot. A ‘Football Team’ mascot would certainly be something to behold.
Here’s more from around the NFC on a quiet Sunday evening:
Sticking in the NFC East for a moment. It’s “unlikely” that receiver Michael Gallup is on the Cowboys’ roster beyond this season, Jon Machota of The Athletic writes. Machota argues there’s “just not enough salary cap space,” to fit contracts for Gallup, Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. A third-round pick in 2018, Gallup is entering the final year of his rookie deal and will be looking to get paid next offseason. Machota does think there’s “a scenario” where Cooper deals with injuries or regresses and the team opts to move on from him and keep Gallup, but that they won’t likely be back together. The Colorado State product is coming off a solid season where he turned 59 catches into 843 yards and five touchdowns, mostly without Dak Prescott. In his last year with Prescott, in 2019, he had 1,107 yards and six scores in only 14 games.
After trading Julio Jones, the Falcons will be leaning heavily on Calvin Ridley this season. As such, there was understandably some concern when it was announced a couple weeks ago that Ridley had undergone foot surgery. Fortunately, we’ve got another positive update to pass along. The foot injury was actually something Ridley dealt with during the 2020 season, and not a new injury suffered this offseason, the wideout told the media recently, via Scott Bair of the team’s official site. “It was just minor,” Ridley said. “I can walk and all that right now. I’m taking it one day at a time.” He also added that he’s “pretty sure” he’ll be ready for training camp, although Bair writes “that remains a bit of an unknown at this stage.” Either way, it doesn’t sound like anything to panic about.
We heard earlier today that the Packers were eying Texans wideout Will Fuller, but there were reportedly disagreements among high-level Packers officials on whether they should make a play for a receiver. While head coach MattLaFleur said he was unsure if “anything ever got that serious,” he was sure that he’s on the same page with general manager BrianGutekunst.
“I have no idea where anything like that would ever come from,” LaFleur said of the reports (via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky). “We’re in constant communication, we’re on the same page and there is no truth to that. I promise you that.”
While receiver Davante Adams expressed confidence in his teammates, he previously acknowledged that he’d welcome some help at the position.
“I wouldn’t say we necessarily need to, because I think we’ve shown what we can do,” Adams said. “When I went down, guys stepped up and did what they had to do. Stepped up big. I wouldn’t say it’s a need. Obviously, I’ve said this before, I don’t think it’s any secret that could help us potentially. I wouldn’t be opposed to it. It could help us. But I definitely got full faith and trust in my guys here to be able to get it done.”
As Demovsky notes, the Packers could be getting some reinforcement at the position, as receiver Allen Lazard could return this weekend. The 24-year-old had eight catches for 146 yards and one score in Week 3, but he’s been sidelined since undergoing core muscle surgery.
Some more trade notes from around the NFL:
The Falcons were seeking a fourth-round pick for defensive end Takkarist McKinley, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (via Twitter). We heard last week that the former first-rounder was on the trade block, but the 25-year-old declared last night that he wasn’t going anywhere. McKinley has compiled only eight tackles and one sack in four games this season, and he hasn’t played more than 40-percent of his team’s defensive snaps since Week 1.
After acquiring defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in a preseason trade with the Jaguars, the Vikingstraded the veteran to the Ravens back in October. ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes that the trade conditions from the conditional fifth-rounder that Minnesota sent Jacksonville still apply. That fifth-rounder will turn into a fourth-rounder if Ngakoue goes to the Pro Bowl (with the Ravens). It’s worth noting that the Vikings received a conditional fifth-rounder in their trade with Baltimore, and there’s a good chance that selection contains many of the same conditions.
The conditional fifth-round pick that the Saints sent the 49ers in the Kwon Alexander trade has a bit more intrigue. The MMQB’s Albert Breer tweets that it’s a 2022 pick that’s heading to San Francisco, although that could turn into a 2021 selection based on “play-time markers.”
Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup was presumably never on the block, as VP StephenJones said last week that the organization wouldn’t be trading the 24-year-old (via The Athletic’s Jon Machota on Twitter). Following a breakout 2019 campaign, Gallup has disappointed a bit in 2020, hauling in 26 receptions for 432 yards and one score through eight games (seven starts).
October 3rd, 2019 at 8:01pm CST by Dallas Robinson
The Cowboys will face a tough test against the Packers on Sunday when they square off against one of the NFL’s best defenses, but a key piece of their offense will be returning just in time. Wide receiver Michael Gallup, who missed Dallas’ previous two games with a knee injury, is expected to play against Green Bay, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link). A second-year pass-catcher out of Colorado State, Gallup got off to a hot start in 2019, catching 13 passes for 226 yards in the Cowboys’ first two games of the year.
Here’s more from the NFC East:
Gallup isn’t the only offensive contributor that will make it onto the field for the Cowboys: right tackle La’el Collins, currently battling a back injury, will play against the Packers, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. While Collins hasn’t missed any game action, he has been absent from practice this week. Left tackle Tyron Smith is expected to miss Dallas’ contest against Green Bay with an ankle issue, so Collins’ presence becomes all the more critical. Veteran backup Cameron Fleming will take over for Smith on the blindside.
Injured reserve is not in consideration for Redskins tight end Jordan Reed, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters, including Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post (Twitter link). Reed has suffered a number of concussions throughout his career and is currently dealing with yet another brain injury. Earlier this year, reports indicated that his career could even be in jeopardy given his repeated brain trauma. Reed is not expected to play in Week 5 and there’s no timetable for his return, but Washington apparently isn’t willing to give up his season just yet.
A domestic violence complaint and a restraining order against former Giants safety Kamrin Moore were both vacated earlier this year after a judge determined allegations against Moore could not be substantiated, but charges against the now-free agent defender have not yet been dropped, as Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com writes. Moore is adamant he was falsely accused and now believes the Union County prosecutor’s office is delaying the dropping of his charges out of “embarrassment.”
September 27th, 2019 at 2:32pm CST by Sam Robinson
Avonte Maddox was released from a Green Bay-area hospital with movement in all of his extremities. The Eagles cornerback was discharged and is back in Philadelphia with his teammates, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Maddox and safety Andrew Sendejo collided during a scary fourth-quarter sequence Thursday night, requiring the second-year cornerback to be stretchered off the field. Maddox has been diagnosed with a concussion and a neck injury, the Eagles announced. No return timetable has surfaced, but the Eagles regular will undergo additional testing.
Here is the latest from the NFC East:
Previously ruled out for Week 4, Michael Gallup may need a few more weeks to fully recover from the arthroscopic surgery he recently underwent. The Cowboys wide receiver has experienced swelling post-surgery, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (on Twitter). Gallup now appears unlikely to play in Week 5 against the Packers, per Hill. The second-year wideout missed Dallas’ Week 3 game.
Xavier Woods has, however, recovered from his injury and will be in uniform Sunday night in New Orleans. One of the Cowboys’ two starting safeties missed Week 3 due to a high ankle sprain. It is not certain Woods will reclaim his starting job immediately, with the third-year defender having not been told if he or spot starter Darian Thompson will trot out with the Cowboys’ first-stringers Sunday, per Todd Archer of ESPN.com.
The Redskins will have two key game-time decisions in their offensive lineup Sunday against the Giants. The hamstring injury Terry McLaurin suffered in practice this week has the emerging standout questionable to face the Giants. He joins Brandon Scherff in that regard. The Redskins have ruled out Jordan Reed for a fourth straight game due to a concussion. Jay Gruden, however, does expect Washington’s longtime starting tight end to be back this season.
September 16th, 2019 at 2:00pm CST by Zachary Links
Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup is having arthroscopic surgery to trim his meniscus and will miss 2-4 weeks of action, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Fortunately, he did not suffer any other structural damage, so he’s not looking at an extended absence.
At minimum, the Cowboys will be without Gallup for games against the Dolphins and Saints. Beyond that, he could be sidelined for Week 5 against the Packers and Week 6 against the Jets.
Gallup, a third-round pick in the 2018 draft, emerged last season with 33 catches for 507 yards and two scores. That was good for an average of 15.4 yards per catch, setting him up for a big year as a deep threat in Dallas’ offense. Big production could still be on the way, but he’ll have to put a pin in things after tallying 13 grabs for 226 yards through two weeks.
November 22nd, 2018 at 1:03pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Professional took a long winding path back to Los Angeles, and eventually ended with two teams. After many years of discussion, both the Chargers and Rams ended up relocating. There were a bunch of rumors over the years about other potential options for the NFL to make its way back to Los Angeles but we never really had many details, until now. Jerry Jones was reportedly approached and given the option to bring a team to L.A., according to ProFootballTalk.com.
Jones revealed what went down in a recent interview he did, saying “Several years back, I was approached by several owners that asked if I would consider selling the team, and the team being a more elite team and I take Los Angeles and build Los Angeles.” Jones explained that he never wanted to sell the Cowboys and it obviously never happened, but Jones re-establishing the L.A. market for the NFL would’ve been highly entertaining, if nothing else.
Here’s more from around the league:
After the tragic passing of his brother, Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup‘s status was understandably in doubt for today’s Thanksgiving game. While he missed practice this week, Gallup will in fact play against the Redskins in today’s game, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s great news for the Cowboys’ suddenly resurgent offense, and our thoughts are with Gallup and his family.
The Steelers already have a couple of talented tight ends in Jesse James and Vance McDonald, but are apparently doing due diligence on the position. The team worked out former Eagles tight end Billy Brown yesterday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Brown, a 2017 undrafted free agent, has never appeared in a regular season game so perhaps this is just for the updating of emergency lists.
Promising Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard had his season ended last week by an ankle injury, but he did get some good news. Bucs coach Dirk Koetter announced that Howard’s injury wasn’t as bad as some initially thought and “won’t require surgery and shouldn’t be a long-term issue”, according to Scott Smith of the Buccaneers’ official website (Twitter link). It’s great news, and Howard should be poised to become one of the best tight ends in the league in 2019.
The Cowboys have wrapped up their 2018 draft class. On Monday, the team reached agreement with the last straggler in their group – third-round wide receiver Michael Gallup (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer).
Last year, it took the Cowboys a while to sign all of their draft picks. Third-round pick Jourdan Lewis did not agree to terms until June 29, but this time around, Dallas ironed everything out with its third-round pick in short order.
Gallup hauled in 100 receptions for 1,413 yards last year at Colorado State and figures will compete for time in a revamped wide receiver group with Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson, and others. Although he’s a bit green, the Cowboys are hopeful they can get him up to speed quickly.