Michael Gallup Jersey

ARLINGTON — That million dollar smile, as Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan calls it, was back on rookie receiver Michael Gallup’s face Thursday.

At least for a few hours.

Gallup flashed a wide smile as he walked toward the Cowboys’ locker room side by side with receiver Allen Hurns after their win over Washington.

It’s been an emotional week for Gallup, who learned just minutes after the Cowboys’ win Sunday in Atlanta that his brother Andrew had committed suicide on Saturday in Georgia.

Gallup didn’t travel back to Dallas with the team Sunday so that he could be there for his family. He told coach Jason Garrett on Monday night, however, that he wanted to play on Thanksgiving.

So Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sent his private plane Tuesday evening to Georgia to pick up Gallup. Late Tuesday, he met with receivers coach Sanjay Lal to get familiar with the game plan after missing the first two practices of the week.

Gallup, who didn’t speak to the media after the game, finished with two catches for 19 yards on six targets against the Redskins. But his final statistics didn’t matter.

That was evident after the game in an emotional scene in the Cowboys’ locker room. Garrett presented Gallup with the game ball and talked about his mental toughness. Gallup thanked his teammates for their support.

“I’m sure proud of these guys, and you would have been, too, if you had seen what they did with Michael Gallup in there,” Jones said. “They’ve given him a lot of support. I don’t want to get into the detail of it, but it was very meaningful. About as genuine, touching a moment as I’ve been a part of.”

Garrett also became emotional addressing the team after the win about Gallup, how important family is and how tough it is to deal with the loss of a loved one. He choked up mentioning how his father, Jim, could no longer spend Thanksgiving with him. Garrett’s father, a longtime Cowboys scout, died in February at 87.

“To go through the tragedy he did a couple of days ago and turn around and get back here, get ready for this game, it just shows the character of him,” quarterback Dak Prescott said. “It shows the man he is. He battles adversity. I’m just so proud of him and proud of the way he handled this. I don’t wish this on anybody, obviously. He is playing for his brother, he is living for his brother. That’s what is most important.”

Gallup grew up in an unconventional family. He is one of eight siblings, but six are adopted. Gallup, who is from Atlanta, is the only domestic adoption. He has three siblings from West Africa and two from India.

Andrew, who was from Sierra Leone in West Africa was the closest in age to Gallup. Andrew was only a few months older than Gallup. Gallup, Andrew and his adopted sister, Lydia (from India), graduated together in the same class at Monroe Area (Ga.) High School.

Andrew’s funeral is Friday evening in Dahlonega, Ga. Jones will again offer his private plane to fly Gallup back for the service.

“We wanted to play for him,” linebacker Jaylon Smith said. “We’re a tribe, we’re a unit, we love one another. For a guy to be strong and endure what he did and still go out and compete at a high level just shows his true character. So I love him, and I got his back through everything.”

I expect Gallup to have a really nice year in 2019. He made some big plays last season and showed why the Cowboys took him in the 3rd round. He only caught 33 of 68 passes from Dak, which means their connection must get considerably better. A lot of y’all blame Dak for the incompletions, but there’s more to a route than what you see at the end. Sometimes, the timing gets thrown off by what happens at the beginning or the middle of the route. Amari Cooper will draw some double coverage this year, which means Gallup will have a chance.

I expect Gallup to have a really nice year in 2019. He made some big plays last season and showed why the Cowboys took him in the 3rd round. He only caught 33 of 68 passes from Dak, which means their connection must get considerably better. A lot of y’all blame Dak for the incompletions, but there’s more to a route than what you see at the end. Sometimes, the timing gets thrown off by what happens at the beginning or the middle of the route. Amari Cooper will draw some double coverage this year, which means Gallup will have a chance.

Iloka has nine interceptions in 99 games, including 79 starts. He’s a good, solid NFL veteran but he’s not the difference between getting to the Super Bowl or not. He signed a contract for the minimum with $200 thousand guaranteed. The Cowboys can part ways with him anytime they get ready for little of no cost.

Every team is different. The Rams run their salary cap differently than the Cowboys. Zeke might want a new deal this season, but I think he’s more inclined to get it after the season. The Cowboys will have plenty of cap space next year to get it done. They still have to get Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper done. Early next offseason, I think he’ll get done. If not, they’ll put the franchise tag on his because that number is only about $11 million, which is a lot cheaper than trying to franchise defensive ends or quarterbacks.

Dez had a terrific three-year run, when he was one the best players in the NFL. He was an unstoppable force paired with the perfect quarterback for his skill set. Tony Romo has a dynamic passer who knew how to maximize Bryant’s athleticism. Cooper is much more of a route technician. He can run virtually every route on the route tree and he has terrific hands. The variety of routes he runs and his ability to create separation works better with Dak, which is why they’ve had more success.

  1. He’s adopted

He told 9News.com that he was adopted by his mother, Jenny, when he was just 10 months old. She had two kids of her own at the time she adopted Michael. He was one of six additions to the family through adoption: two were were from India, three from Africa, plus Michael, he told the news station.

Michael told the AP that he was given up for adoption by his mom because she “wanted me to have a better life.” He also said he’s received letters from his birth mom but has never met her.

“That would be amazing to find her, talk to her,” he told the AP.

Lyell said that the mindset for Gallup was formed when his adopted father left home when he was 10 years old.

“Michael, the youngest of eight children, including six that, like him, were adopted, took it upon himself to become the man of the house,” Lyell said. “He made sure the lawn was mowed, helped his mother trim the trees with a pink chainsaw he picked out for her at Sears and took care of any other chores that required a lot of physical strength. He was a strong-willed kid, even then, determined to accomplish whatever he set out to do.”

We ran the triple option. Our other quarterbacks were running quarterbacks. I was the only one who had to throw the ball,” he said. “I had some catches every now and then, maybe two or three each game. But, I wasn’t mainly a wide receiver for a while.”

Playing QB is something he has in common with another Cowboys pick from the 2018 NFL draft: LB Leighton Vander Esch.

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