Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup says impending return from ACL is all mental now

Alex Brandon/AP

Dallas Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup said that he made the decision to sit out Monday’s 23-16 victory against the New York Giants, delaying his return from a torn ACL for at least another week.

Gallup missed the first two games of the season, as expected. But he said he hopes to go against the Washington Commanders on Sunday.

He has had only two full practices since suffering the injury in January and wants a little more work this week before making a final decision.

“We hope so,” Gallup said. “It’s been a while. [Looking to] have another great week [in practice]. I felt good, obviously, throughout the week but there were a few things I needed to touch up on — feel a little bit more [comfortable].

“It was my decision.”

Gallup is good to play physically. There have been no setbacks.

Coach Mike McCarthy acknowledged that had made some Gallup-esque plays in practice last week, drumming up optimism that he would play against the Giants.

“Big fade, big fade,” Gallup said when asked what McCarthy meant. “Go up in the air, snag it, do what you’re supposed to do and get the toes down — that’s exactly what it was.”

How did that feel?

“M.G. is back,” he said. “M.G. is definitely back. That’s exactly how it felt.”

But he wasn’t. Not yet.

The physical is there. It’s the mental he’s working on. He needs that confidence in himself and his leg to truly be back.

That is what he hopes to get in practice this week.

“This is the hardest part — it’s really just mental now,” Gallup said. “You know you’re healthy and everything’s good, it’s just mental now. You’ve gotta make sure you feel like you’re old self.

“Getting to that is the hardest part. I just needed a couple more reps. I’ve only been in pads twice. Everybody else had a whole training camp and everything like that, and I just needed to feel a couple more things out.

“That’s it.”

Gallup admitted he watched Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Chris Godwin play in the season opener against the Cowboys after suffering the same injury last January. He caught three passes in the first half before being sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Godwin missed the next two games and is expected to miss Thursday’s game against Kansas City Chiefs.

Gallup says it’s tough missing games and not being out there with his teammates. But he knows its a long season and when returns he wants it to be out there the long haul.

“We’ve got a lot of games left to play, and I’m trying to be out there the whole time,” Gallup said. I saw [the Chris Godwin injury against Dallas], and that’s tough. It makes you think a little differently about your recovery. I’m just trying to avoid that, for sure.”

“It’s been real tough [not being out there], I’m not gonna lie. I don’t even know what to say. I wanna get out there so bad but, obviously, it’s a process.

“I’m just biding my time so that I’m good when I get back out there, so I can help my team.”