The Dallas Cowboys were down 10-0 to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday with about five and a half minutes to go before halftime. After two drives that ended in punts and another that concluded with a missed 43-yard field goal from kicker Greg Zuerlein, the Cowboys marched down the field on an 11-play drive that took four minutes off of the clock and was capped off by a 21-yard touchdown catch from wide receiver Michael Gallup. However, it came at a heavy price.
Immediately after his amazing reception on a back-shoulder throw from quarterback Dak Prescott, Gallup grabbed his left knee in obvious pain. He was ruled out for the rest of the game, but after the Cowboys’ tough 25-22 loss which dropped them to the four seed in the NFC, a worst-case scenario was announced.
Gallup suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.
On the board!
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 2, 2022
Wide receiver Amari Cooper, who has been Gallup’s teammate for four seasons, said that Gallup knew something was wrong before his touchdown catch.
“He said that he felt it pop before he caught the ball,” Cooper said. “He’s tough enough to go up and still make the play, and he knew he was hurt. It speaks to how tough MG is, how much of a baller he is. It’s unfortunate that he went down like that.”
Gallup entered this season looking to have his best campaign yet as he will seek a new contract in 2022. Unfortunately, he’s had terrible luck on the injury front. Gallup suffered a calf strain in the season opener against the Tamps Bay Buccaneers and missed the next seven games. Since his return in Week 10, Gallup made several contested catches and displayed his elite footwork and awareness on the sidelines by staying in bounds when grabbing receptions as well.
With Gallup on the shelf, Cedrick Wilson, who scored his fourth touchdown of the season on Sunday, will step into the WR3 role behind Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.
Wilson has shown he can handle an increased role this season. In the Cowboys’ Week 8 win against the Minnesota Vikings, Wilson hauled in three receptions for 84 yards which included a 73-yard touchdown. Also, when Cooper and Lamb missed the Cowboys’ loss on Thanksgiving due to COVID and a concussion, Wilson registered 104 yards on seven receptions.
The former sixth-round pick had this to say about his fallen teammate.
“That’s like my brother, off the field, one of my closest friends, we hang out all the time,” Wilson said. “To see him go down like that. I’m just praying it’s not as bad as they think it is.”
Wilson’s prayer didn’t change Gallup’s diagnosis as an MRI on Monday confirmed an ACL tear. The Cowboys should have a lot of confidence in Wilson that he can step up in Gallup’s absence seeing as he already has this season. However, Gallup is the Cowboys’ primary deep threat and a player that opens up so much for Cooper and Lamb.
This is a devastating blow to the Cowboys’ offense with the playoffs just two weeks away. Now, they have to regroup quickly and finish the season strong on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles with the two seed in the NFC still up for grabs.
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