Getty Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy
The Dallas Cowboys and head coach Mike McCarthy have added Martavis Bryant to the roster, but that could mean bad news for a starting WR. Bryant signed with the team’s practice squad before the Week 10 game against the New York Giants.
Bryant hasn’t played a regular season snap in the NFL since 2018, so there’s certainly no guarantee he’ll be a starter. But the latest report from Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz appears to leave Michael Gallup out as an outsider.
“The #Cowboys were looking for another receiver to complement CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks. While Dallas still believes in the internal options they have, Martavis Bryant was an intriguing choice that only recently became available after being reinstated,” Schultz wrote on X on November 7. “The staff was so impressed with his training, that they couldn’t do it anymore.” I decided to give him the chance to play a role. Bryant should have flown to Tennessee for a workout with the #Titans if Dallas hadn’t signed him today. They wouldn’t let him go.”
Schultz mentions a receiver as a “complement” to Lamb and Cooks, implying that Gallup isn’t that guy. Signing a new option already sends a message to Gallup, Cooks and the rest of the WR group, but Schultz’s latest update makes it seem like Gallup is at risk of losing his role.
Michael Gallup vs. Brandin Cooks
It’s hard to predict what or how Bryant would perform on the field given his absence from the NFL, but we can analyze Cooks and Gallup. Head coach Mike McCarthy needed another receiver this past offseason and came to the Cooks. But it didn’t work out the way the Cowboys had hoped.
Pro Football Reference shows Gallup caught 22 passes for 243 yards, while Cooks caught 17 balls for 165 yards. Considering QB Dak Prescott has had a pretty strong start to the season, these numbers are almost mind-boggling.
The reality, however, is that Dallas relies heavily on Lamb and RB Tony Pollard for their offensive success. Cooks and Gallup just aren’t dynamic. In six of eight games, Gallup’s longest catch in the contest was less than 15 yards. Cook’s longest catch this season is 25 yards, and he hasn’t exceeded that 15-yard mark in four of his seven games.
Bryant is no spring chicken and has never been praised for his speed, but he is 6-foot-10. If the Cowboys don’t have great speed behind Lamb, Bryant’s size could be an important weapon.
Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy talks about Cooks
Schultz’s update doesn’t bode well for Gallup. But Cooks isn’t entirely sure either. His snap percentage is being cut short by Jalen Tolbert and he was an afterthought in the Week 9 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles with just two targets and one catch.
However, Mike McCarthy did answer questions about his playing after the game.
“Nothing happened. He was a big part of the production,” McCarthy said. “We had a tremendous performance in the passing game and Brandin and all the guys are a part of that. I understand you want to see the ball spread to everyone, and that was the case. Whenever a guy comes up short, you want him to get more targets and more chances.”
McCarthy was frustrated, and perhaps he has good reasons for it. Cooks just had his best game for the Cowboys the previous week against the Los Angeles Rams. The veteran WR made three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown.
Evan Reier is a sports reporter who covers the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com. He previously covered sports for the Montana Standard and was managing editor for Outsider. More about Evan Reier
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