There could be one seriously potent reinforcement on the way for the Dallas Cowboys going into their Week 5 battle with the Green Bay Packers. The team is looking to bounce back in a big way at home one week after the offense looked completely out of sorts in the 12-10 loss to the New Orleans Saints, and Michael Gallup might play a big part in that.

The second-year wide receiver has missed the last two games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a mildly torn meniscus in his knee — suffered in the final moments of the Cowboys’ victory over the Washington Redskins in Week 2 — with a timeline for return set between 2-4 weeks. Unlike safety Xavier Woods, who returned after missing just one game with a high ankle sprain some assumed would sideline him for a month or more, the timeline on Gallup is was always more plausible.

Now at the midpoint of that 2-4 week timeframe, the Cowboys will get a closer look at his progress over the next three days. Owner Jerry Jones sounded optimistic about Gallup’s chances for Sunday against the Packers, but rightfully tempered it with the reality of not yet having seen him return to practice — which could happen as early as Wednesday.

“I’m not ruling it out Sunday,” Jones told 105.3FM the Fan. “And, so, we’ve got to see how he does out here tomorrow especially and just take a look at it.”

That’s a promising nod for an offense that wouldn’t mind getting an adrenaline shot from Gallup to help avoid their first two-game losing streak of the season, but it’s also not exactly a green light. The reality is, if Gallup participates this week, it will be in a limited capacity that likely still leaves his game-day status in the air after Friday’s walkthrough is completed. 

Only two weeks removed from the procedure, it’s more appropriate to expect his return closer to three or four weeks out. He can change that this week, though, if he makes rapid progress and shows an ability to make every cut, move, turn, acceleration and deceleration without risking a setback that could jeopardize his availability in the long-term.

For now, that remains to be seen. 

Gallup averaged 113 receiving yards and 17.4 yards per catch in his first two games of 2019, making him one of the best wideouts in the league and a dynamic threat opposite three-time Pro Bowl talent Amari Cooper. The sooner he can return, the better, but the Cowboys know it’s smarter to play the long game here. If Gallup looks good in practice, they’ll activate him on Sunday. 

If not, they won’t.