OXNARD, Calif. – Michael Gallup couldn’t help but smile when a reporter asked him if he’s ever visited Hawaii.
“I’ve been there before, yeah,” he said.
The Cowboys’ second-year receiver played against the University of Hawaii in 2017, his senior year at Colorado State. His stat line in the Rams’ 51-21 conference victory: a game-high eight catches for 212 yards and a touchdown.
“I did pretty good that game,” he said.
Yeah, not bad.
Gallup and the Cowboys will head to beautiful Honolulu on Thursday after breaking camp here in Oxnard. Preseason game No. 2 awaits Saturday at Aloha Stadium against the L.A. Rams.
Gallup, the Cowboys’ third-round pick last year, emerged as a consistent option for quarterback Dak Prescott as the 2018 season wore on. With Amari Cooper (heel) currently sidelined, Gallup’s receiving targets have gone up in practice over the last week.
Last Saturday against the 49ers he accounted for 42 yards – a 16-yard catch and a 26-yard pass interference penalty drawn – on the Cowboys’ 65-yard opening field goal drive.
“He has grown as a player,” head coach Jason Garrett said earlier in camp. “So much of that has to do with the experience and the approach that he takes. Young player last year, thrown in as a third-round pick, played a lot of football early on in the year. Some of it was good, some of it was not so good – not as consistent as you want. But you can see him gaining confidence with the experience that he got. He played his best football at the end of the year.”
Gallup is playing some of his best football in camp right now. And he’s heading back to a familiar place later this week.
“You get to go play in Hawaii. A lot of people don’t get to do that in their lifetime,” he said. “I got lucky. I get to go twice.”