Dallas Cowboys up to potentially return to their post as the No. 1 offense in the NFL -- as they were in 2019 and in 2020 prior to losing Prescott to his season-ending ankle injury. That possibility has Michael Gallup drooling all over his jersey, having been forced into a taking a step back statistically due to a merry-go-round of poor quarterback play in Week 6 through Week 17, but having the talent to still finish with 843 receiving yards and five touchdowns in Year 3., but you're well aware of that by now. , something else you know by now, and the return of those three starters at cornerstone positions set the
Sharing the load with rookie first-round pick CeeDee Lamb (who finished with just under 1,000 yards receiving) also had an impact, but Prescott being back under center means Gallup -- easily one of his favorite targets -- could again find a way to surpass 1,000 yards receiving as he did in 2019 (1,106). But true to his character, he's not worried about his own production. He's excited for what the offense as a whole will be in 2021, and the 25-year-old doesn't see a weak spot on that side of the ball.
"I think the sky's the limit for us," Gallup told NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" on Monday morning, one day ahead of the mandatory minicamp. "We said that last year. Obviously, we had some injuries on the team and stuff like that. We're already running out the gate right now, it's just OTAs.
"I think we can explode. We can do what we need to do out here on the field and just kill it. I don't see anybody stopping us."
Considering what the Prescott-led offense was achieving before, Gallup's statement isn't a reach. The question isn't necessarily on their ability to return to their prolific ways, however, but rather if all of the key players/starters can remain healthy going forward. All signs point to Prescott returning to his ironman days though, and that's the biggest part of the puzzle.
"Dak looks like the same old Dak, ready to get out there, ready to be a leader," Gallup said. "He just has that little thing to him. Every time you see him, you just want to make sure you're doing everything right for him. He's a great dude on and off the field, coming out here after his injury, after his contract. He's the same old dude.
"Ain't nothing changed about him except he just wants to play now. Props to him. Everything he's done, he's earned. Just an amazing player."
Speaking of contracts, it's time for the Cowboys to shift their financial attention to Gallup -- having now secured Prescott and Amari Cooper to long-term deals in back-to-back seasons. Gallup is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and because he's a former third-round pick, there's no fifth-year option in the team's pocket to exercise as a means of buying more time. Gallup will be an unrestricted free agent in 2022, unless the Cowboys use the franchise tag on him. And while he's stuck in the moment of trying to help Prescott and Co. bounce back this coming season, he's also not naive.
He's learned there's a business side to the NFL that can be quite visceral at times.
"You're obviously going to think about [the contract status], but you can't really do anything about it except go out on the field and do what you're supposed to do," Gallup said. "You're not going to get that contract if you don't do what you're supposed to on the field first. I think, one thing to think about, you can't talk anything into the future. You've just got to do what you're supposed to do right now.
"For me, it's just going out there helping this club win ball games, have fun doing it."
Gallup has seen his name crop up in a variety of unsubstantiated trade rumors over the last calendar year or more, and the addition of Lamb to the mix only drove further speculation that his end is soon to come in Dallas. As it stands, that's never been the case, with sources continually telling CBS Sports the Cowboys were never interested in trading Gallup and (as of this precise moment) still aren't. Could that change in the future? Yes, because anything can in the NFL, but the Cowboys currently have no willingness to remove a 1,000-yard receiver as their franchise quarterback attempts to resharpen the offense -- because chemistry matters.
And when it comes to the latter, Gallup and Prescott have it in spades. The two are exceedingly close as not only players but also friends, and when it comes time to sit down with the Cowboys brass to discuss what happens after 2021, that will come into play -- along with Gallup's love for all things Dallas.
"Obviously, I'd love to stay here," he said. "I'd love to be in Dallas. I love the community, love the city, love the fans, so it's up in the air, but I want to be right here. So we'll see."
Gallup has reeled in 2,457 yards and 13 touchdowns in only 35 starts over his first three seasons, and has become a/the definitive downfield big-play threat for the Cowboys offense. Lamb is expected to have a bigger role going forward, but that plan isn't being put in place with the thought of moving on from Gallup. The Cowboys are simply trying to turn their offensive bomb into a thermonuclear one, and they'd love to keep Gallup as much as he'd like to stick around.
The only thing to figure out is the money, and that's where both sides will be asked to prove their conviction.