All-32: Michael Gallup Set for Big Game vs. Colts

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

Photo: USA Today Sports Pictures

Welcome to All-32, a game-by-game preview of every encounter on the NFL roster each week. The aim is to take a look at the most critical part of each game with a combination of data and film studies. As the season progresses, the focus will narrow to the specifics, but for this week many of the featured players and units are overall projections for the teams in question.

If you are interested in our game tips, you can find them on this page.

Let us begin. All times are listed as Eastern.

Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys – Sunday, 8:20 p.m

Key Players: DAL WR Michael Gallup

The beauty of Dallas’ offense is that they always have answers. One drive can be about CeeDee Lamb, the next about Michael Gallup, then the running game can dominate the following drive and so on. They always have some sort of solution against their opponent and can shape their game plan with that flexibility in mind. This week it looks like a Gallup game against a Colts defense that defends well in the middle of the field and plays a good running defense.

The Indianapolis defense ranks sixth in pass defense DVOA over center but 16th left and 31st right. That’s a product of both Gus Bradley’s closed midfield philosophy, which fills the boxing and intermediate areas, and the distribution of the Colts’ cornerback talent. Nickelback Kenny Moore is by far the team’s best cover corner as Stephon Gilmore lost a few steps and Isaiah Rodgers struggled in a starting role. Granted, Moore probably won’t play in this game due to an ankle injury, but the point about the Colts’ pass coverage production spread remains true.

Between Bradley’s philosophy and the Colts’ lack of outside cornerback talent, Gallup will be in heaven. He’ll get a lot of 1-on-1 coverage against cornerbacks he should be able to beat. It’s more than just the matchup, however.

Gallup and quarterback Dak Prescott have a chemistry that few duos in the league can match in terms of timing and trust. Trusting that Gallup will always be at the right landmarks, Prescott throws to him early, and Gallup retaliates for Prescott by being in the right place and consistently getting the ball out of the air rather than close coverage. Assuming the connection doesn’t become static for some reason, the two should be able to go up and down the field against these Colts all day.

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