The Cowboys will avoid letting wide receiver Michael Gallup hit the free agent market after to a five-year, $57.5MM deal, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (on Twitter). After trading awayAmari Cooper earlier this week, this moves cements that Dallas’s other three top pass catchers will be returning for the 2022 NFL season.
Gallup, 26, will collect $23MM in guarantees, with Pelissero noting this contract will max out at $62.5MM. A nice payday for Cooper’s former sidekick, whom the Cowboys have chosen over their four-year WR1.
A third-round pick out of Colorado State in 2018, Gallup broke out for 1,107 yards in 2019 alongside Cooper. The arrival of CeeDee Lamb in 2020 limited his production to a still impressive 843 yards as a number three receiver. Even in an injury-plagued 2021 season, Gallup enjoyed glimpses of success.
This news has been in the works for a while now with estimates that the Cowboys were aiming for a five-year pact with an annual average value around $10MM, but that Gallup’s camp may possibly having been pushing for a shorter commitment. Either the rumors about Gallup’s camp have been proven untrue or an annual average value of nearly $12MM was too enticing to turn down.
Regardless, the long-term, decently priced deal is a strong commitment to Gallup after he only played in nine games of his contract year due to a Week 1 calf injury and a season-ending ACL tear in Week 16. The contract seems to indicate that the Cowboys are confident in the medical information they are receiving on Gallup’s recovery.
In the second quarter of today’s game against the Cardinals, Cowboys’ wide receiver Michael Gallup injured his knee while pirouetting back to the ball on a catch that resulted in a touchdown as he fell into the end zone. Upon landing, the 25-year old out of Colorado State immediately reached for his knee. Local Cowboys reporter Michael Gehlken was quick to tweet out a statement from team owner Jerry Jones after the game that Dallas believes Gallup has torn his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. Gallup will undergo an MRI exam on Monday to confirm the early diagnosis.
Gallup missed 8 weeks earlier in the season when he was placed on IR after straining his left calf in the Cowboys’ Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay. Since rejoining the team in Week 10, Gallup quickly regained his position as WR3, behind CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper. He was looking to play a crucial role in the league’s top offense, in terms of yards per game, as they roll into the playoffs. Dallas will rely on Boise State product Cedrick Wilson to fill the empty role, as they did during Gallup’s IR stint. Behind Wilson, reserve receivers Noah Brown, Malik Turner, and Simi Fehoko have spent time on the active roster, but haven’t shown much in terms of production.
This is unfortunate timing for Gallup as he will go into the offseason as a free agent. On the bright side, Gallup has given the league a strong sample of his work in previous years. In 2019, Gallup caught 66 balls for 1,107 yards and 6 touchdowns despite only playing in 14 games. Last year, despite competing with Cooper and Lamb for targets, Gallup still recorded 59 catches for 843 yards and 5 touchdowns. He showed similar yardage per game in his limited time this year. It looks like, due to an unfortunately timed injury, someone in the league will probably get a good deal on a solid starting receiver.
The Cowboys are dealing with a bit of a COVID problem. Per Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, the club has placed right tackle Terence Steele on the reserve/COVID-19 list after a positive test. As Watkins’ colleague, Michael Gehlken, tweets, Dallas’ O-line coach Joe Philbin, O-line assistant Jeff Blasko, offensive assistant Scott Tolzien, and strength and conditioning coaches Harold Nash, Jr., Cedric Smith, and Kendall Smith are also on the list following positive tests.
Neither Steele nor the staffers (with the possible exception of Cedric Smith) will be available for the Cowboys’ game against the Saints on Thursday. La’el Collins will get the start at RT in Steele’s absence.
Steele, a 2020 UDFA, served as Collins’ primary replacement last season, which Collins missed due to hip surgery. This year, Collins was hit with a five-game PED suspension, and starting left tackle Tyron Smith has missed time with an ankle injury. So Steele has played both LT and RT in 2021, and Pro Football Focus’ metrics paint him as the 53rd-best offensive tackle out of 81 qualifiers.
To combat further spread of the virus, the Cowboys will be working virtually through Monday and will have daily testing through Tuesday. The good news is that WR Amari Cooper, who has missed Dallas’ last two games due to a positive COVID test of his own, should be back in action for the Saints game, as Watkins writes.
The Cowboy’s other top wideout, CeeDee Lamb, who missed the club’s Thanksgiving loss to the Raiders due to a concussion, is also expected to clear protocols and suit up against New Orleans (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com).
November 25th, 2021 at 10:50am CST by Zachary Links
The Cowboys won’t have their two best wide receivers for today’s game against the Raiders. CeeDee Lamb has been ruled out due to his concussion, according to Tom Pelissero and Jane Slater of NFL.com (Twitter link). Meanwhile, as previously reported, Amari Cooper will be held out per the league’s COVID-19 protocols.
Lamb, 22, has notched 50 catches for 740 yards and six touchdowns this year. Hopefully, he’ll be cleared in time for Week 13, when the Cowboys face the Saints in a Thursday night matchup.
In other Cowboys news, defensive endDeMarcus Lawrence has been designated for return. Lawrence, 29, has yet to replicate the gaudy stats that he posted in 2017 and 2018, but he should provide a boost for Dallas’ run defense. It’s also worth noting that Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics have positioned him as a top-tier edge defender, despite the dropoff in sacks.
November 21st, 2021 at 5:36pm CST by Zachary Links
Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb has been ruled out for the rest of today’s game vs. the Chiefs with a concussion (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). Lamb will undergo additional testing throughout the week, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be cleared in time for the team’s Thanksgiving game against the Raiders.
Lamb, 22, was coming off of a strong performance against the Falcons, catching six passes for 94 yards and two scores in the 43-3 rout. Ironically, while celebrating his second touchdown, he clashed his helmet against Dak Prescott‘s helmetless-head.
“I realized it as soon as I did it,” said Lamb (via WFAA). “My helmet is still on. You know, man, let me take this off and apologize. I’m glad he’s all right: no concussion protocol, no nothing. I’m sorry, fans. Don’t kill me.”
Fortunately, Prescott was OK, but Lamb’s status is TBD after the first-half scare. The wide receiver hit the ground head-first when he driven to the ground by Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward. After initially being listed as questionable, the Cowboys ruled him out for the remainder of the game.
September 2nd, 2021 at 11:13am CST by Sam Robinson
Two young Cowboys contributors will miss at least the team’s September portion of the season. Both defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and rookie cornerback Kelvin Josephwill begin their seasons on IR.
Gallimore is recovering from a dislocated elbow, while Joseph suffered a groin injury during Dallas’ preseason finale last week. While each is expected to return this season, neither can do so before Week 4. Gallimore’s timeline lines up with that return date.
The Cowboys made Joseph one of their top additions this offseason, one in which numerous resources went to a defensive repair effort. Dallas selected Joseph 44th overall. The 20-year-old defender who played at LSU and Kentucky was unlikely to begin the season in the Cowboys’ starting lineup, but this represents a setback to start his pro career.
The Cowboys have agreed to terms with No. 17 overall pick CeeDee Lamb (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Per the terms of his slot, Lamb will earn just over $14MM on his four-year deal, fully guaranteed.
Lamb was regarded as one of the three best wide receivers in this year’s class, but he was left waiting longer than expected on draft night. With the Cowboys, Lamb will have to compete with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup for targets, but there should be plenty of opportunities to go around. He’s expected to mostly work from the slot, where his soft hands can shine, and his lack of top-end speed won’t be quite as glaring.
Lamb, a consensus All-American in 2019, finished last season with 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. That was the 6-foot-2, 191-pound wideout second-straight season with at least 1,000 yards and 10+ touchdowns.
As a refresher, here’s the full rundown of the Cowboys’ 2020 class:
This year’s wide receiver draft class was widely regarded as one of the deepest in recent memory. It was so deep, in fact, that teams felt they could secure immediate-impact players on Day 2 and even Day 3 of the draft. Still, a few players separated themselves from their peers and became first-round selections, the cream of a bountiful crop.
The consensus top three talents were Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and Alabama standouts Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy. It would not have been surprising to see any of those three players taken in the top-10, and ultimately Ruggs came off the board first, going to the Raiders with the No. 12 overall selection.
The Broncos were quite content with that, as they snagged Jeudy – whom they considered trading up for – with the No. 15 pick. Then, although the Cowboys perhaps had more pressing needs, they could not turn down Lamb when he surprisingly fell into their laps at No. 17.
TCU’s Jalen Reagor was the next domino to fall, heading to the Eagles with the No. 21 selection. Reagor was something of a late riser in the process, as he had been mocked as a second- to third-round choice but began garnering attention as a potential first-rounder as we got closer to draft day. Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman obviously saw something he liked, and he pounced.
But LSU’s Justin Jefferson, generally considered the fourth-best wideout in the class, didn’t have to wait too much longer to hear his name called. The Vikings took him one pick after Reagor.
All five of those players stand a good chance of becoming difference-makers for their respective clubs, as is the case with any first-round pick. But we would like to know from you which of them you think will have the biggest impact as a rookie.
With Ruggs, the Raiders added a speed merchant whose college production did not match that of Jeudy — his teammate of three years with the Crimson Tide — but who fits the Las Vegas offense nicely. The Raiders added another collegiate wideout, Bryan Edwards, in the third round, and they also took a flier on veteran Nelson Agholor. Still, it appears as if Ruggs has a good chance to start opposite Tyrell Williams, with Hunter Renfrow working the slot. Ruggs is electric with the ball in his hands, and he is not a one-dimensional deep threat; he is a solid route-runner who should only get better with coaching. His recent off-field injury seems to be a non-issue, and he will be a boost to a passing offense that performed better than one might think in 2019.
The Broncos, meanwhile, are building a strong young nucleus of skill position talent, and Jeudy will team with Courtland Sutton to form one of the most promising 1-2 punches in the game. He is a gifted route-runner whose excellent production against SEC defenses jumps off the page — he averaged 72 catches for 1,239 yards and 12 TDs over his final two years in school – and he has the versatility to line up outside or in the slot. Fellow rookie KJ Hamler, whom Denver nabbed in the second round, may get most of the slot reps, but Jeudy will be a threat no matter where he plays.
Though Lamb will have to compete with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup for targets, the Cowboys are perfectly capable of moving the ball through the air and will have plenty of opportunities to go around. Lamb should work primarily in the slot, which will mask some of the deficiencies he has as a route-runner and against press coverage. He has terrific hands and tracking ability, and though he may lack top-line speed, he is plenty quick enough to make things happen, and his overall athleticism is off the charts. He is also a strong and willing blocker, which Ezekiel Elliott will surely appreciate.
Due to injuries and under-performance, the Eagles’ WR group provided very little production last year. Veteran DeSean Jackson played just three games in 2019, Alshon Jeffery may start the season on the PUP list, and 2019 second-rounder JJ Arcega-Whiteside failed to live up to expectations. Philadelphia tried to trade up for Lamb but was happy to pick up Reagor, whose blazing speed could pair well with Jackson. Though it took a while for his stock to rise, that may have been because the TCU offense didn’t give him the chance to show off his route-running skills, so the more scouts were able to evaluate his tape, the more impressed they became. He struggled with drops from time to time, but with his abilities as a deep target and a YAC monster, he has the potential to be a dynamic pro. On the other hand, there are rumblings that Reagor will be asked to focus on just one position in 2020 and will be the understudy to D-Jax, so he may not get as much immediate PT as we might have expected.
Like the Eagles, the Vikings sorely needed to upgrade their WR corps, and Jefferson steps into a great situation, as Minnesota traded Stefon Diggs earlier in the offseason and did little to replace him. So Jefferson should start opposite Adam Thielen, whose mounting injury history could open up even more opportunities. Like most of the LSU offense, Jefferson was tremendous in 2019, securing 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 TDs. He offers an intriguing blend of size and speed, and though he may struggle to create separation in the pros, he has good hands and runs good routes. The Vikings like to run the ball, but Kirk Cousins is a capable QB and Jefferson should see plenty of passes coming his way.
So let’s hear your thoughts. Tell us which of these five players will have the most impact on his team in 2020, and explain your reasoning in the comments.