In a massively vacant Dallas “aerial pie,” rookie WR Michael Gallup made the greatest Preseason Week 1 impact. The explosive wideout hauled in his lone target — a beautiful 30-yard score from Dak Prescott. Gallup also lead the Cowboys in first team time, as he was on the field for 8 of Prescott’s 10 snaps, as compared to six for Allen Hurns, five for Terrance Williams, and three for Tavon Austin — none of who received a single target from Dak.
272 targets (56% of 2017 total), and 2,645 air yards (68.6%) were opened up in Dallas following Dez Bryant‘s release and Jason Witten‘s retirement, with no clear favorite to claim the Lion’s Share. Though it’s early and Cole Beasley sat out this game, Gallup took a major step in the right direction. He’s often compared to Stefon Diggs for his savvy route running and ability to go-up for the ball, and Gallup certainly snuck past the defense in this one. In an offense that has reportedly “struggled to move the ball downfield” throughout camp, Gallup has provided the rare bright spots. The talented rookie has reportedly built “a good rapport” with Prescott while “finding ways to generate space,” and both were certainly on display Thursday night. Moreover, OC Scott Linehan red zone ability has “talked up Gallup’s ” and “catch radius” as something that can “replace some of what the team lost in the offseason.” Bringing the most diverse pass-catching skillset, and with a clear path to the top of Dallas’ Target Totem Pole, Gallup offers excellent value at his 142 overall, WR54 ADP and 166, WR65 ECR. He’s risen above Hurns, and to 135 overall, on my latest Big Board.
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