Everyone was ready for Michael Gallup to build on his breakout second season in the NFL. He'd clearly mastered his athleticism on the field. His chemistry with Dak Prescott was a thrill to watch at times.
It's not that Gallup took a step back this year---he's still on pace for 830 yards among a crowded receiving core. It's just that, at 3-9, the Cowboys season hasn't exactly allowed for many bright spots, from any of the positional groups. Gallup's just trying to finish the nightmare year with some solid production.
"You should be frustrated," Gallup said of the Cowboys' woes. "But you can't linger on that frustration because that's only going to hurt you for the next week. There's a time and a place for it and when we're back on the grind, I don't think you should be too frustrated."
Last year, Gallup and Amari Cooper both recorded over 1,000 receiving yards. It had seemed like Gallup entered an elite club that he would remain a member of, but opportunities for yardage have simply been scarce.
"I was thinking about it last night," Gallup reflected on the statistical mark. "If it comes it comes. If it doesn't, it's not the end of the world. Being a wide receiver everybody wants to get to that 1,000-yard mark. It feels good. It feels like you're doing what you're supposed to do. Sometimes you just have to play the role."
Part of that role this season has been trying to catch passes from four different starting quarterbacks, two of whom were vastly inexperienced. Gallup found some traction last week, catching his first touchdown since Dak Prescott's last start back in October. He currently sits at 624 yards and two touchdowns with four games to go, so getting to 1,000 yards is still tenable, but it will prove very difficult with Andy Dalton playing behind an offensive line of mostly backups.
"It's just the circumstances that we've had with the team. It's been that kind of year."
There was speculation-- encouraged by Cooper himself---that Gallup, Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb might all get to 1,000 yards this year. The talent displayed on the field suggests it wasn't a crazy prediction if things had gone differently. In fact, one small bright spot this year has been the emergence of Noah Brown and Cedrick Wilson as playmakers, something Gallup pointed out going forward.
"We've got a great wide receiving core," he said. "So to get touches you should feel blessed. It's fun."
Gallup's big step forward may have to wait a season, but he certainly seems to be exercising patience. He knows his current quarterback isn't to blame for the circumstances, and he'll be ready for anything thrown his way over the last four games.
"If I get one pass a game I'm perfectly happy, if we win the game," Gallup clarified. "It's not like I'm over here demanding a bunch of passes."