Dallas Cowboys

Season W/L ATS O/U Pass Yds Rush Yds Pass% Run% 3rd D
2016-17 13-3 10-6 6-10 4,167 1,336 50.59% 49.41% 42%
2015-16 4-12 4-11-1 6-10 3,471 1,890 57.94% 42.06% 35%
2014-15 12-4 10-6 9-6-1 3,784 2,354 50.36% 49.64% 47%
2013-14 8-8 9-7 9-7 3,954 1,507 64.89% 35.11% 35%
2012-13 8-8 6-10 8-8 4,729 1,265 66.16% 33.84% 43%

Season Outlook

Key Additions: RB Ezekiel Elliot, LB Jaylon Smith

Key Departures: DE Greg Hardy

The Cowboys found out all about life without QB Tony Romo and they didn't like the taste.  In 2015, Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore logged major snaps for them and they never got any consistent rhythm on offense.  Their stellar offensive line was able to help old yet still unreliable RB Darren McFadden get a pointless 1,000 yards.  Enter first-rounder Ezekiel Elliott, arguably the best college back since Adrian Peterson. Elliott could be a plug-and-play 1,200 yard rusher for the 'Boys given their line and the always-dangerous Romo-to-Dez connection.  However both Romo and Bryant were hurt last year.  The Cowboys will want to feed Elliott as much as possible, so he has put the fantasy world on notice based on projections and potential.  He's a second-rounder in any format with some considerable outside.  Behind Dez Bryant, WR Terrence Williams didn't inspire much as WR2 and Cole Beasley is a poor man's Julian Edelman.  If Romo can still play at a high level, the Cowboys are a very good offensive unit.  More questions about on the defensive side of the ball.  LB Jaylon Smith, drafted high may not play at all in 2016 and inside 'backer Rolando McClain just got suspended for 10 games and will probably not be back.  LB Sean Lee, the most talented Dallas defensive player, is still a poor bet to play 16 games. CB Orlando Scandrick is your top option at that position.  LB Anthony Hitchens did impress after Lee got hurt last year and will probably start in the middle.  Dallas defensive line is a mess right now. Short on talent  and depth anyway, they chose not to retain DE Greg Hardy (that could change) and both DE Demarcus Lawrence, their best pass rusher, and DE Randy Gregory are both suspended.   Dallas seems to have the pieces to run the ball with Elliot to hide their defensive limitations but they are an afterthought in the NFC. I don't see anything that excludes them from making at run at an NFC East title, however, given that division lack of consecutive division winners.

Predicted Record: 9-7

Player Outlooks & Draft Analysis

Quarterbacks

Dak Prescott

With Romo (back) sidelined for 6-10 weeks, Prescott will start the season and could make an immediate impact, especially in DFS formats. He has tons of weapons around him to be successful.

Running Backs

Ezekiel Elliott

Elliott is the consensus "can't miss" back in this year's class. Coming out of Ohio State he's got the size and speed to be a big time runner between the tackles, the speed to bounce runs outside successfully or run away from a defense, and the versatility to be a receiving threat out of the backfield. He's as polished a three down back coming into the league as we've seen in some time. Elliott is also NFL-ready when it comes to pass protection, often the biggest factor in keeping rookie running backs off the field. In fact, according to Pro Football Focus Elliott didn't allow a sack, hurry, or hit on 103 pass blocking attempts last season. The NFL comparison most used among scouts and analysts when it comes to Elliott is Edgerrin James, which is high praise given the way James took the league by storm as a rookie. Elliott enters a great situation in Dallas and will get worked immediately. Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden will also be clamouring for carries early in the season but will be relegated to breather back status towards the end of 2016. Expect the Cowboys to lean on the run this season and look for Elliott to lead the way.

Darren McFadden

We had McFadden as one of our Sleepers last season and he didn't disappoint, finishing the year as a low-RB1. We hope you got while the gettin' was good because he's very unlikely to have the same success this season. McFadden recently underwent surgery on a broken elbow and will miss training camp and likely some of the preseason. That absence will allow rookie Ezekiel Elliott to get even more 1st team teams and Alfred Morris will secure the backup role. McFadden will still be a solid bet on passing downs but it looks like this backfield belongs to Elliott now. McFadden could be a decent flyer in PPR leagues but that's about it.

Alfred Morris

Morris has joined the Cowboys where he'll battle Darren McFadden for the backup role behind rookie Exekiel Elliott. After bursting onto the scene as a rookie, Morris's total carries and yards per carry have fallen in each of the past three seasons. A downhill runner who doesn't offer much in the passing game, he is precisely the kind of back that seems to get stronger as the game wears on. He has also improved his ball security since entering the league, having not lost a fumble in more than 500 carries. Having just turned 27 years old, Morris still has plenty of game left and could see a decent workload early in the season until Elliott gets his pro legs under him.

Wide Receivers

Dez Bryant

After three monster seasons, Bryant, like many of the 2015 Cowboys, suffered an injury that cost him a significant amount of playing time. He and starting quarterback, Tony Romo rarely were healthy at the same time and the result was a lost season for the stud receiver. After foot and ankle surgeries this offseason, he should enter the year healthy, but expect the Cowboys to play it safe with their superstar. Bryant will turn 28 this season, and concerns about his health may make him a bargain in many fantasy formats. The talent and tools are evident, and he's clearly an upper echelon NFL receiver. When healthy, Bryant is a touchdown machine, surpassing 12 touchdowns in three of his last four seasons, and has become one of the top touchdown getters in the league. He is a physical receiver who can out-muscle defenders and is dominant after the catch. He's a solid red-zone target on a balanced offense with the leagues best offensive line that dominates the line of scrimmage and knows how to move the ball down the field. Bryant still has room to grow as his route running can still use some polishing. The one knock on Bryant is that this is not a pass happy offense but, even in a run-first attack with a limited pass volume, Bryant is the only reliable downfield target with upside and he'll continue to get fed the ball.

Terrance Williams

Williams is coming off yet another disappointing campaign and you have to start to wonder if he'll ever be a fantasy asset. He sports a cool 56% catch rate over the last two seasons which isn't enough to get the job done and certainly isn't enough to warrant a fantasy roster spot, especially considering he's dealing with limited volume to begin with. The Cowboys will continue to be a run focused team and Williams upside is very limited.

Cole Beasley

View Beasley as a Wes Welker-lite who is a serviceable slot receiver capable of some nice outings but ultimately isn't a great fantasy option. His lack of weekly volume and consistency make him a roster spot killer. This is a balanced offense and Beasley is essentially the 5th option in the passing game. We prefer to side with players with higher upside for late round fliers.

Tight Ends

Jason Witten

Jason Witten, now age 34, will never be confused with Usain Bolt, but somehow keeps turning in 70-catch seasons year after year. He is consistent in terms of catches, but wildly unpredictable in terms of touchdowns, if he scores any at all. In 2015, he reached the red zone three times; twice in Week 1 and once in Week 17. To his defense, last year he had QB Matt Cassel and Kellen Moore throwing to him plenty, instead of Tony Romo but still ended up as a top 12 TE. He's probably more useful in PPR as Romo's security blanket. WR Dez Bryant, assuming he's back in 2016 injury-free, will continue to let Witten out-maneuver defenses for another 70 catch season.

Connor Hamlett

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Kickers

Dan Bailey

Bailey, one of the few active kickers with a field goal percentage of 90% or better, had arguably best season yet in 2015, going 30-for-32, including 5-6 from 50 yards or better. What caused him to fall out of the top ten in fantasy was the woeful state of a Tony Romo-less offense. They severely missed WR Dez Bryant for long periods of time and had to make do with the likes of retread QBs like Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel. As a result Bailey kicked just 25 extra points, one year removed from kicking 56 in 2014. A healthy but aging Romo with a healthy Bryant and the odds-on favorite to win the offensive rookie of the year, RB Ezekiel Elliott, should do wonders for Dan Bailey and the entire offense. Grab Bailey after the top seven or eight kickers are selected.

Player Updates

Player Update Ezekiel Elliott, RB - Ezekiel Elliott bracing for short suspension
14 Jul 2017 - 5:05pm

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, there is a "growing sense" Ezekiel Elliott will face a "short suspension" for his involvement in a 2016 domestic violence incident. - From RotoWorld.

Player Update Ezekiel Elliott, RB - Zeke wants to be 'more dominant' at 2nd level
8 May 2017 - 8:30pm

Ezekiel Elliott said he wants to be a "more dominant second-level runner" as a sophomore. - From RotoWorld.

Player Update Darren McFadden, RB - Cowboys keep Darren McFadden with 1-year deal
16 Mar 2017 - 2:30pm

Cowboys re-signed RB Darren McFadden to a one-year contract. - From RotoWorld.

Player Update Darren McFadden, RB - Report: McFadden to get 'most' reps Sunday
29 Dec 2016 - 3:15pm

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports Darren McFadden will get "most" of the reps at running back in Sunday's finale. - From RotoWorld.

Player Update Ezekiel Elliott, RB - Garrett: Healthy starters will play Week 17
27 Dec 2016 - 4:40pm

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the preliminary plan is for the team's healthy starters to suit up in Week 17. - From RotoWorld.

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