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2011 Draft Prep: Miles is the man in Dallas

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Tony Romo is a lucky man, and we're not talking about some of the women he's dated or his golf game. Romo and the Cowboys have the best receiving corps in the NFL.

It's a nice luxury to drop back and see Miles Austin on one side, Dez Bryant on the other and Jason Witten running down the middle of the field. His receiving corps is a big reason why Romo has the chance to post outstanding stats this season, which makes him a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback in all leagues.

"We do good things," Bryant said in an interview with CBSSports.com. "I feel like we're the best at what we do. We're striving for the best."

But who is the best Fantasy receiver for the Cowboys? And do you draft Austin first in Round 3 based on his Average Draft Position or wait for Bryant two rounds later in Round 5?

We'll take Witten out of the discussion since he's an elite tight end, but Fantasy owners want to know how to approach drafting Austin and Bryant this year. The prediction here is Austin will remain the better Fantasy receiver in 2011.

This isn't a knock on Bryant. He enters this season ready for a breakout campaign after the way he played as a rookie last year. Bryant had 45 catches for 561 yards and six touchdowns despite missing the final four games of the season with a broken leg.

We consider Bryant an excellent No. 2 Fantasy receiver, and he should be drafted in Round 5 with confidence. He is even saying all the right things leading up to the start of the regular season, and he said he is 100 percent healthy following last year's season-ending injury.

"I'm fired up," Bryant said. "I'm ready to go. Everything is in place. I feel like I'm doing a good job. I'm going to keep doing a good job."

Austin is coming off somewhat of a disappointing season in 2010 despite catching 69 passes for 1,041 yards and seven touchdowns. Fantasy owners expected more from him after his breakout year in 2009 when he had 81 catches for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The reason we like Austin better than Bryant is the rapport he has with Romo. Once Romo went down last year with a shoulder injury in Week 7, Austin's stats started to decline.

He opened the season with 35 catches for 524 yards and two touchdowns in the five games before Romo was injured. If you project those stats over a full year then Austin would have finished with 112 catches for 1,677 yards and seven touchdowns.

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Bryant also didn't get going until Romo went down. Bryant only had 18 catches for 211 yards and one touchdown in five games with Romo, and the bulk of his production came with Jon Kitna as the starter.

Bryant said he has spent time working on his rapport with Romo, and he feels the two are on the same page. He knows he might not get to the level of trust Romo has with Austin or Witten, but he's hopeful.

"I'm still progressing with him," Bryant said. "Tony puts more trust in me and more faith in me. Everything is going good."

We'll find out if Bryant and Romo can continue to connect, and we're confident in their ability to work together. But we just have more faith in Romo looking for Austin when he needs to make a big play.

So if you have the chance to draft Austin when he's available take him as your No. 1 receiver. And if you miss on him then pull the trigger on Bryant.

It will be a fun year watching the Dallas passing game flourish, and no one is happier about that than Romo and the Fantasy owners lucky enough to own these Cowboys.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Green said he's built chemistry with Dalton in their three years together.

"He feels confident that whether I'm double covered, triple covered, it don't matter I'm going to come down with the ball," Green said. "And I feel like we've grown over these last three years and I feel like this year is going to be another key year for us."


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"The next step for him is to get him into the daily grind, put the pads on and go pound it," Campen said of Sherrod. "That's his next step, but we've been very pleased with where he's come from."


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The paper said it will be interesting to see how Ivory reacts to a smaller workload. "One of the reasons he was unhappy in New Orleans was he was part of a crowded backfield and did not feel he was being used enough," the paper said. "Will he bite his tongue if he is riding the bench?"


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"I just need to regain focus," he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "Don't let what I did last year flow over into this year. It's a new team, it's a new season and a new year pretty much."

"I know it's going to be a lot tougher than last season," Lacy added. "But we have the greatest quarterback in the NFL, and with him being back there, it's not just like they'll be able to stack the box and focus on me. They have to play him, because if not, he's just going to kill them through the air. So I still think I have a bit of breathing room.

"I think it will be tougher, because it's not like you're surprising everyone. When you first come in, people doubt you. They know what you did in college, but they don't know if it will translate to the next level. But once you get that year in and people see what you've done and it's no longer surprising, they're going to prepare for you the way they prepare for whoever else is good at that position."


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