Once again, the Cowboys find themselves with over 20 players who have expiring contracts. But still, there's a large percentage of players on the roster already in place. Over the next few weeks, the staff writers will evaluate those players under contract, reviewing their past performances with an outlook to the future. Today, we'll start the series with wide receiver Michael Gallup.
What Worked: For one, Gallup was able to get back on the field, relatively early in the season, making his debut in Week 4. Now for those who already bypassed that goal and was looking for more production, let's not forget he suffered a torn ACL in early January of 2022 and didn't have surgery until February. So missing all of the offseason and training camp and being able to get back in the groove for the final three-quarters of the season, that is a success. Yes, he had some shining moments as well, including those trademark sideline catches, like the one he caught for a touchdown in the Cowboys' win over the Eagles.
Needs Some Work: For Gallup, it came down to consistency. And once again, a lot of thought could and should be contributed to the injury. And while ACL injuries are always difficult for any player to return from, it's certainly more challenging to the receivers who rely on their knees to run, cut and jump on every play. Gallup's best game was just a five-catch for 63-yard game at Minnesota. He had 12 other games where he did not reach 50 yards receiving. The Cowboys are hopeful for a bigger impact for Gallup in 2023.
His Best Work: The stats have been better for Gallup earlier in his career. This year was more about getting fully back from injury. But he did have some big moments, including a two-touchdown catch game against the Colts in early December. Gallup also recorded his second career touchdown in the playoffs with a nifty toe-drag catch in the back of the end zone against the Bucs.
Contract Consideration: Despite the injury last offseason, Gallup still signed a five-year deal worth $57. This year, he is expected to count $13.8 million against the salary cap, which includes an $11 million guaranteed base salary.
What's Next: Gallup seems to be one of those players who thrives the most when the chips are down. And while he should be fully healthy again in 2023, everyone likely expects more than a 39-catch season with 424 yards and four touchdowns. This year, with a full offseason program and training camp, Gallup should round back into form as the No. 2 receiver opposite CeeDee Lamb. The Cowboys will probably add some depth at receiver in the draft and/or free agency, but considering the contract for Gallup, he should have every opportunity to get back as the No. 2 receiver for this offense.