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Why WR Michael Gallup Has Dak Prescott's Ear


FRISCO, Texas – Here's the sign of a young wide receiver focused on getting better this offseason:

Michael Gallup is always talking.

"Almost after every other play," Dak Prescott says.

The second-year wideout is "adamant" about becoming a better target for his quarterback, Prescott says. Communication between both parties is so vital because of the nuanced layers in the passing game and the adjustments that often must be made within plays.

The conversations are always productive.

"If I came to him (on a play), if I didn't, if there was a read route or whatever," Prescott said. "Always coming right back to me asking what I'm thinking, when I'll get to him, what number is he in progression.

"When you have a guy like that who wants to know that, that's allowing him to set up his routes and get open. He's taking the next step."

A third-round pick last year, Gallup elevated his play during the Cowboys' run to the division title. After catching only 13 passes in the first eight games, he nearly doubled his production (20 catches for 206 yards) during the Cowboys' 7-1 stretch in November and December.

Head coach Jason Garrett said the rookie starter saved his best for last in the divisional-round playoff loss to the Rams: a career-high six catches for 119 yards.

"There's no question he improved almost daily last year," Garrett said.

Gallup's understanding of the scheme grew throughout the season and allowed him to play faster. Now the 23-year-old is trying to absorb as much as he can from those around him: from Prescott, from the coaches, from the other receivers.

He's got two mentors with four Pro Bowl appearances between them: veteran receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb.

"We go in there and watch film. I watch what they do," Gallup said. "Cobb, he's always in my ear trying to tell me something I could do a little bit different. Coop's always trying to give out things for me to do, too.

"It's definitely exciting to be with a group like that. It's going to be fun this year."