Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
2013 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2010 Fantasy outlooks: Dallas Cowboys

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

The Cowboys ended a 12-year drought without a playoff victory last year when they beat the Eagles 34-14 in the first round. It was also the first career postseason victory for coach Wade Phillips in five tries and improved Tony Romo's playoff record to 1-2.

The Cowboys don't plan to rest on that accomplishment, especially after getting beat 34-3 against Minnesota in the second round of the playoffs. Dallas wants to reach the Super Bowl this season, which just happens to be at Cowboys Stadium.

Draft Kits and Mock Drafts
Be sure to download a 2010 Draft Kit today and practice your drafting skills by joining one of our mock drafts right now!
Download a Draft Kit | Join a Mock Draft
Sign up to play FREE Fantasy Football

To do that, Romo needs another outstanding season. Romo threw for a career-high 4,483 yards last year with 26 touchdowns and a career-low nine interceptions. And this year, he could be even better.

The Cowboys gave Romo a new weapon this offseason with rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant, a first-round draft choice. Bryant will join an impressive receiving corps that features Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Roy E. Williams and Patrick Crayton.

Romo also has solid receivers out of the backfield in Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, and he plays in an offense that will remain explosive. We consider Romo a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, and he could end up as a Top 5 player at his position.

The one downside to Romo is he has an inexperienced starter at left tackle after Flozell Adams was let go. Doug Free is the new left tackle if he can beat out Alex Barron, and he only has seven career starts. If Free can keep Romo from getting hit, Romo should shine -- and that's what we expect to happen.

Breakout ... Felix Jones, RB

There have been differing reports this offseason out of Dallas about who will be the starting running back between Barber and Jones. The only certainty in the backfield is Choice is third on the depth chart. You can expect about an even split between Barber and Jones during the season, but it makes sense if Jones gets the majority of touches, because he has the ability to do more based on his breakaway speed and playmaking ability. Barber is more of a grinder, and he's better suited for short-yardage work and goal-line situations.

Fantasy value chart
Player Draft Day value
Quarterbacks
Tony Romo
Running Backs
Marion Barber
Felix Jones
Tashard Choice
Wide Receivers
Miles Austin
Roy E. Williams
Dez Bryant
Patrick Crayton
Tight Ends
Jason Witten
Martellus Bennett
Kicker/DST
David Buehler
Cowboys DST

When Barber was at his best for the Cowboys and Fantasy owners he was the No. 2 option behind Julius Jones. In 2006-07, Barber averaged 4.8 yards per carry and scored 24 rushing touchdowns. In his past two seasons as the starter, Barber has averaged just 4.1 yards per carry and scored only 14 rushing touchdowns. If Jones starts with Barber providing a change-of-pace option, the Cowboys backfield will benefit -- and so will Fantasy owners. Barber can return to his more natural role, which would still make him worth drafting as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy option, and Jones can build off last year's playoff success.

In two playoff games with Barber limited due to injury, Jones had 30 carries for 217 yards and a touchdown, including a 73-yard run, and four catches for 52 yards. The problem for Jones has been staying healthy since he's missed 12 games in his first two years. But we're expecting Jones to see a bigger role this year, starter or not, and he's someone to target on Draft Day as a No. 3 Fantasy running back. Barber may end up with more touchdowns, but Jones can still produce enough to help your Fantasy roster for several weeks during the season.

Bounce-back candidate ... Roy E. Williams, WR

Williams has struggled since his trade from Detroit to Dallas in 2008, and he's averaged just 37 catches for 513 yards and five touchdowns the past two seasons. But I'm not convinced he's finished as a quality Fantasy option, even with the addition of Bryant. Reports out of Dallas are Williams had a great offseason, and he should be motivated to keep his job with Bryant now in the mix. Williams also enters the season without any pressure of having to be the No. 1 receiver since Miles Austin showed last year he can handle that role.

That leaves Williams with the chance to surprise Fantasy owners, and he's worth a late-round pick on Draft Day. I would take Williams ahead of Bryant. Keep in mind, Williams is only 28, and he's had three years with at least 50 catches and 815 yards and four years with at least seven touchdowns. He could still put together a good campaign, especially with all the single coverage he'll get.

Now, is Williams going to develop into a starting Fantasy option again? No. But can be a useful reserve or a bye-week replacement? Absolutely. Don't be surprised if Williams proves to the Cowboys that, finally, he was worth the price they paid to get him from the Lions.

Keeper-league target ... Dez Bryant, WR

Bryant is obvious as a keeper-league selection based on his ability and the eventual role he'll play with the Cowboys. But that's the only format I would take Bryant on Draft Day unless he fell to me with a late-round pick. As talented as Bryant is, rookie wide receivers take time to develop. Bryant also is stepping into an offense where he's not needed since Dallas already has Austin, Williams, Crayton, Witten and Martellus Bennett.

Crayton is still a candidate to get traded or released, and Bryant will have plenty of opportunities to make plays. But don't expect him to be a significant contributor in seasonal leagues, and he's already shown some injuries this offseason with hamstring, ankle and hip problems. Bryant is going to be great in the future and could be a starting Fantasy option as early as next year. But you should lower your expectations for him this season since he might not make an immediate impact in 2010.

Schedule breakdown

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
@WAS CHI @HOU bye TEN @MIN NYG JAC @GB @NYG DET NO @IND PHI WAS @ARI @PHI

Free, the new Cowboys left tackle, will get an early test facing Julius Peppers and Mario Williams in two of the first three games of the year. That could go a long way to determining how Romo and the passing game will do this season, but we expect Romo to be fine. The Cowboys will get a chance for revenge at Minnesota in Week 6 since the Vikings ended their season last year, and then Dallas has a tough stretch to close the season. The Cowboys face last year's Super Bowl teams back-to-back -- vs. New Orleans in Week 12 and at Indianapolis in Week 13 -- and then close the year with three division games (two against the Eagles) in the final four weeks.

Training camp topics

2009 Touches Leaders
Player Touches
Marion Barber 240
Felix Jones 135
Jason Witten 94
Miles Austin 83
Tashard Choice 79

There are three spots on offense where the Cowboys have to nail down a starter: left tackle, running back and wide receiver. Going into training camp, Free has the starting left tackle job, but he could face a challenge from Barron.

Barber and Jones will likely go back and forth as the starting running back, and Bryant will challenge Williams for the starting receiver spot. We also have to find out if Crayton will get traded or released.

The Cowboys have also said that Witten could be used more in the red zone this year, which would help his Fantasy value since he only scored two touchdowns last season. And we'll find out if David Buehler, as expected, can lock down the kicking job in Dallas. If he does, consider Buehler a sleeper on Draft Day.

Injury update

Dez Bryant (hamstring; probable for the start of training camp) ... Orlando Scandrick (finger; questionable for the start of training camp) ... DeMarcus Ware (foot; probable for the start of training camp) ... Keith Brooking (knee; probable for the start of training camp) ... Akwasi Owusu-Ansha (shoulder; questionable for the start of training camp)

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can also follow Jamey at @jameyeisenberg . Do you have a question or a comment for our Fantasy staff? Drop us a line at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Jimmy Smith cited on misdemeanor charge
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/13/2014) Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was cited by police Saturday night for failing to follow an officer's orders. The misdemeanor charge came after police responded to a report of a woman passed out in a restaurant bathroom in Towson.

The woman was vomiting into a bathroom sink when police arrived. Smith was with the woman and "refused to obey an officer's repeated orders to leave the bathroom," police said.

Smith became the fifth Raven to get in trouble with police this offseason.


Chris Harris targeting midway point of preseason
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, who's coming back from ACL surgery, told ESPN he expects to be cleared for full participation by the midway point of the preseason. Harris said the exact timetable hinges on his upcoming visit to his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

"I’m doing everything, there’s really nothing I can’t do right now," Harris told the network. "I still have to go see Dr. Andrews at the end of the month and get checked up and he’ll pretty much let us know the plan from there."

Harris had 65 tackles and three interceptions last year before getting hurt in the playoffs.


Dimitri Patterson a starter by default
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Unable to land a high-end free agent cornerback, the Jets "were forced to settle for journeyman Dimitri Patterson as a consolation," notes The Star-Ledger. Patterson, who projects to start opposite Dee Milliner, is on his sixth team in 10 seasons and has played all 16 games just once in his career.

If Patterson falters, third-round pick Dexter McDougle could get a shot.


Fred Jackson in danger of losing carries
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Bills running back Fred Jackson might not approach the 207 carries he received last year. According to WGR550.com, Jackson will once again split time with C.J. Spiller but also potentially lose snaps to the team's additions at running back, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon.

The website said Jackson, 33, who's entering the last year of his deal, will be trying to prove how much he has left.


Teammate: Bitterness won't linger from Jimmy Graham standoff
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Saints tight end Benjamin Watson told ESPN that the the team's arbitration fight with Jimmy Graham over whether he's a receiver or a tight end won't have a longterm detrimental effect. Watson is hopeful the sides will reach a multiyear contract agreement by Tuesday's deadline.

"I’m very confident that it’ll be resolved the right way and guys can move forward," Watson said. "Obviously it’s always tough when you go through litigation with somebody, and it can probably get heated. And I’m sure there are emotions on both sides. But that is the business side of the game. 

"And it’s unfortunate that it came to that and that it was so public. But I really think -- I know, I don’t think -- I know that Jimmy loves New Orleans and I know that he loves our team and the organization and he loves playing here. And we love him, everybody wants him here, coaches included. So when it comes down to contract situations, that’s just a necessary evil ... not even evil, but just a necessary progression of getting a player here."


Dallas Thomas eyes starting job
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Dolphins coach Joe Philbin named Dallas Thomas one of the team's most improved players, and he has a good chance to start at left guard, according to the team's website. A third-round pick in last year's draft, Thomas played only four offensive snaps last season.

Thomas worked with the first team during spring drills and is much further along than he was in 2013. He stayed in South Florida throughout the offseason to get better prepared.

"You’ve got to know your material, you’ve got to know what you’re doing on the field because stuff happens so fast," Thomas said. "You’ve got to be able to just react to it and not even think about what’s happening on the field."


Spencer Nealy hit with four-game ban
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) The NFL suspended Vikings defensive end Spencer Nealy four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. An undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, the 24-year-old Nealy did not play in a game last season.

Nealy apologized and took responsibility in a statement, saying he took a supplement containing a banned stimulant.


Jarrett Boykin will be 'hard to dislodge'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Jarrett Boykin improved dramatically last season and "will be hard to dislodge" from the Packers' No. 3 receiver job, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Boykin will have to hold off second-round pick Davante Adams, fifth-rounder Jared Abbrederis and seventh-rounder Jeff Janis.

Boykin, 24, caught 49 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns last season.


Trent Richardson might not get long leash
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Averaging 2.9 yards a carry, like he did last year, will get Trent Richardson benched quickly, reports ESPN.com. Richardson "will have to produce right away because it's unlikely the Colts will wait for him to get going" if running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard are healthy and productive, the website said.

Richardson likely will get the first shot at the starting job. He has a much better grasp of the playbook than he did in 2013 and the belief is he'll be able to run on instinct as opposed to overthinking, the report said.


Bruce Ellington trying to overcome stature
by Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer
(7/11/2014) At 5-foot-9, Bruce Ellington is the shortest receiver on the 49ers' roster. But the fourth-round pick out of South Carolina should not be discounted, his high school coach, Jerry Brown, told the Sacramento Bee.

Brown said Ellington is relentless at finding open space and catching everything thrown his way. "Football's played on a big field and it's hard to track someone like Bruce who's got so much agility," Brown said.

Ellington believes he has lots of room for growth because he only gave up basketball last year. Also a former track competitor, Ellington clocked a 4.45 forty at the combine.

"I'm just going to work hard, give it a hundred (percent) every time I step on the field and keep on chasing the dream," he said.


 
 
 
Rankings