FRISCO, Texas – Wide receiver Michael Gallup is excited about the new contract he signed Monday, but this week isn't just about celebrating his return to the Cowboys.
It's a work week, too.
Gallup was at The Star for daily rehab and treatment on his injured left knee Thursday before jumping on a conference call to discuss his new five-year deal worth a reported $57.5 million.
"Obviously when I get back out there, you've got to take it up a notch," Gallup said. "They put all their faith in me, so I need to put all my work into the team."
Gallup had surgery in early February to repair the torn ACL he suffered on a touchdown catch against the Arizona Cardinals on Jan. 2, but the injury had no effect on the Cowboys' offseason plans.
Facing a tight salary cap, the Cowboys made a priority to re-sign Gallup and franchise-tag tight end Dalton Schultz this month. They created $16 million in cap space by trading starting receiver Amari Cooper to the Browns. Backup Cedrick Wilson is also off the roster, taking a reported three-year, $23 million deal from the Dolphins.
That means a larger role for CeeDee Lamb, who made the Pro Bowl in his second season, and Gallup, a productive four-year veteran who missed nine games (including the playoff loss to San Francisco) with a strained calf and then the knee injury. He had 35 catches for 445 yards and two touchdowns in 2021.
In the month between the ACL injury and the surgery, Gallup said he focused on strengthening his quad, hamstring and calf muscles in his left leg to help with the rehab process, which is going well with the athletic training staff.
"Right now it's me working out, upper body obviously, getting in the pool and on the bike, standing on one leg as I can," he said. "It's nothing crazy, but that's part of the process. It's a little slow right now, but you want to get healthy and you want to do it the right way."
With roughly four months until the start of training camp, it's a tighter window to return by the start of next season. Gallup said he isn't putting a timetable on it, but Week 1 is obviously the goal.
"I'll be working my butt off as soon as possible," he said. "…Just believing in the training staff because they've helped so many guys that have had an injury like mine."