NFL News & Analysis

Cowboys WR Michael Gallup suffered calf strain vs. Buccaneers, expected to miss 3-5 weeks

Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers line backer Shaquil Barrett (58) tackles Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) in the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys will be without Michael Gallup for three to five weeks after the wide receiver suffered a calf strain Thursday, a source confirmed to PFF.

The Dallas Morning News’ Michael Gehlkan first reported Gallup’s injury diagnosis. Gallup, who had a strong training camp, caught four passes for 36 yards before leaving Thursday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Wide receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb will continue to start for Dallas while Cedrick Wilson is expected to replace Gallup. The Cowboys also have wide receivers Noah Brown and rookie Simi Fehoko on their 53-man roster while rookies Osirus Mitchell and Brandon Smith are on their practice squad.

It could make sense for the Cowboys to place Gallup on injured reserve since he could come off the list in as soon as three weeks.

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Losing Gallup hurts Dallas: Gallup earned a 71.9 PFF grade in 50’offensive snaps against the Bucs in Week 1. He was targeted on seven of his 37 routes and caught four passes for 36 yards in a below-average matchup against the Buccaneers secondary. Click here to find PFF's WR/CB matchup chart.

Michael Gallup's Career Numbers
Season PFF Grade Targets Receptions Avg. Target Depth
2020 66.3 98 69 12.7
2019 74.0 112 66 13.5
2018 62.7 81 41 14.2

Cooper and Lamb should see even more work: Both Lamb and Cooper were targeted on more than 29% of their routes even with Gallup healthy for most of Thursday’s game. Expect an even higher share of targets with him sidelined. Click here to find PFF's NFL premium stats.

Gallup's replacement: Wilson is the next man up for Dallas. The fourth-year Boise State product played 34 offensive snaps on Thursday (working mostly from the slot), caught all three of his targets for 24 yards and posted a 59.2 overall grade. Click here to find PFF's NFL player grades.


More opportunities for CeeDee Lamb: In the final three drives of the game – when Gallup was missing from the lineup – Lamb ran a route on 100% of passing plays. The second-year receiver will be a borderline WR1 every week Gallup misses. Despite sharing time earlier in the game, he was the Cowboys' most targeted receiver in Week 1 on a per-route-bases (30%). Click here to find PFF's fantasy projections.

Dallas' tertiary options get a slight bump: Wilson, Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin should each see a slight increase in looks but expect those targets to spread out across this group plus the running backs. Wilson is the best bet in deeper formats if you need receiver relief for a few weeks. Schultz has a fractional edge at the tight end position. Keep your FAB allocations low and only go after them in deeper formats. Click here to find PFF's 2021 fantasy rankings.


Cowboys' look-ahead changing before our eyes: Gallup's ankle injury is slightly more serious than initially thought but should only sideline him for 3-5 games. Wilson flashed in his stead and should allow the Cowboys to not skip a beat the next couple of weeks. In their look-ahead spots, Dallas hasn't seen a change in price. Given their performance, they could be a smash spot as underdogs with long rest against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2. PFF's Betting Futures Tool reveals betting opportunities within season win total and future markets.

Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb Player Props: More concentrated target volume on the Cowboys' top two offensive weapons can't be viewed poorly. Both Cooper and Lamb appear to only be playable to the over on their player props. Click here for PFF's player prop tool.

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