FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys haven't been in the Super Bowl in 27 years. But if it they were playing in one next week, it sounds like Michael Gallup would be on the field.
That's the analogy owner/GM Jerry Jones made during his Tuesday morning segment on 105.3 "The Fan." Jones doesn't actually expect Gallup to play Sept. 11 against the Bucs, but mainly because it's the first game of the season.
"If against Tampa were the Super Bowl, he'd be lining up and playing," Jones said emphatically. "We want to be conservative with him. He won't be out there, more than likely, against Tampa. But if it were the Super Bowl, he'd be playing. He's that ready."
About a month ago, Gallup told reporters back in Oxnard, Calif. that Week 1 against the Bucs was not realistic. And while that seems to be the case, his actual return doesn't appear to be too far off.
Gallup suffered a torn ACL on Jan. 2, late last season against the Cardinals. He had surgery in February and has hit "every bench mark" in his return
The Cowboys will make a statement – one way or another – about Gallup's status later on Tuesday at the 3 p.m. deadline for cuts. If Gallup is on the roster, that means they believe he can return some time in the first four games.
Since he went to PUP at the start of camp, Gallup is eligible to remain on PUP (Physically Unable to Perform), which would not count on the roster, but keeps him out for the first four games.
Jones has indicated last week that he doesn't foresee Gallup going on PUP.
So if he's not ready for the Bucs on Sept. 11, it seems plausible he could be on the field Sept. 18 against the Bengals, or maybe an even better target date is Sept. 26 against the Giants on Monday Night Football.
In the meantime, the Cowboys have decisions to make at receiver. CeeDee Lamb, Jalen Tolbert and Noah Brown seem to be locks to make the team. After that, it'll come down to return specialist KaVontae Turpin, followed by Simi Fehoko, Dennis Houston and perhaps Brandon Smith, who had a big touchdown catch in the last preseason game.
Center of the defensive line. Trysten Hill has really had a great camp and has come back with the kind of energy – he' always had the skills and the quick-twitch that we wanted. And Bohanna, the big nose tackle in there. If you look at where we are inside, we're beefed up. And that's what we wanted.