DETROIT – Michael Gallup had family on his mind Sunday.
It's been a year since Gallup learned of his brother Andrew's passing just moments after the Cowboys played in Atlanta last November.
Sunday, honoring his brother, the second-year wide receiver delivered a career-high nine catches for 148 yards in the Cowboys' 35-27 victory over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
"Obviously it's going to be tough around this time every year," Gallup said afterward. "His birthday was Nov. 10, so it's always a hard one.
"But to go out here and have fun and do what I love – he knows that I've always loved this game, and he was up there watching me. So it's a good feeling to be able to do that for him and have the family watch as well."
The Cowboys' top-ranked offense needed Gallup's production, particularly after falling behind 7-0 early. Lead receiver Amari Cooper, battling through a knee contusion the last two weeks, had three catches for 38 yards and appeared to have his snaps managed at points in the game.
Gallup's back-to-back catches of 12 and 14 yards set up a first-quarter field goal that got Dallas on the scoreboard. Then, late in the second quarter, he made a leaping 41-yard catch over Lions cornerback Mike Ford – despite defensive pass interference penalty – to put the offense inside Detroit's 10-yard line.
Ezekiel Elliott scored on a 1-yard touchdown run two plays later to give Dallas a 17-14 lead. They never trailed again.
"I wasn't supposed to run that route. I kind of messed myself up," Gallup said. "That's really why I had to catch the ball because I messed it up. I'd just seen him throw it up in the air, and he was behind me so I had to fight through him."
Last year, Gallup played on Thanksgiving just four days after learning of his brother's passing. He received the game ball after that victory.
Football, he said Sunday, "helps me fill that void."
"I go out there and do what I do, and he definitely sees it."
Said quarterback Dak Prescott: "Proud of him. I know his brother's proud of him. When you're a ball player, being able to go out there on that field and be at peace, it just allows you to be who you are. And that's what Michael Gallup did tonight."