DETROIT — Saddled with another frustrating slow start and with top receiving threat Amari Cooper fighting through injury, the Cowboys needed a spark.
Receiver Michael Gallup stepped up cracking the century mark in receiving yard before the first half was done.
"We needed him right there,” said running back Zeke Elliott. "He definitely carried us through the first half. He’s the reason we won the game.”
The highlight of Gallup’s remarkable day was a 41-yard reception with a degree of difficulty that was off the charts. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw a deep ball to Gallup, and with a defender draped all over him and committing a pass interference penalty, Gallup tipped the ball up to himself, maintained his concentration and then hauled in the football.
The big play had the entire locker room talking about it.
"I don’t think I’ve ever made a catch like that,” said fellow receiver Amari Cooper, "not initially catching because you’re interfered [with], and this catching it. So, like I said, he really wanted to catch that ball."
Gallup ended the day with nine catches for 148 yards, the second-highest output of his career.
But that’s just the beginning of this story.
Gallup’s monster game became more remarkable by the circumstances of the day. One year ago today, Gallup’s younger brother Andrew took his own life.
"You know it’s always a hard one,” said Gallup, "but I’ve always loved this game and he was up there watching me so it’s just a good feeling to be able to do that for him and have the family watch as well."
And as WFAA Sports shared the story with Gallup’s teammates, the respect poured out.
"Being able to go out there on that field and be at peace, it takes away and allows you to be who you are,” Prescott said.
"That’s what Michael Gallup did tonight, just showed the type of player he is; proud of him, proud of him, know his brother’s proud of him."
While meeting with the media Cooper asked Gallup: “You did it for your bro?”
“You already know,” answered Gallup.
"Hey, it explains a lot now how he really wanted that ball, it explains a lot now,” said Cooper. "He did it for Bro."
As tough as this day was, Gallup says there’s more to it. His brother’s birthday was just one week ago today, so at this time of year, each year, Gallup says he’ll have to fight through it.
"Oh yeah, it’s just a little hole in your heart now, but football helps me fill that void,” said Gallup. "I go in there and do what I do, and he definitely sees me.”
And was there ever plenty to see on this day.
More on WFAA:
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- Memory Lane: Cowboys venture to Detroit to take on Kitna, Lions in 2007
- Jerry Jones says Cowboys will not be at Colin Kaepernick's workout
- How tragedy brought two football moms together: 'God has chosen your family, your son, to save lives'