Fantasy Football

Fantasy Team Preview: Cowboys

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John Halpin

John Halpin has been a fantasy contributor for since 2007. He has written and co-hosted webcasts about fantasy football for, and managed websites for the NHL, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Network. Listen to his "Fantasy 15 Podcast" on and follow him on Twitter.


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Overall outlook: This team was sixth in the NFL in yardage last season, with a potent air attack accounting for most of the damage. Expect more of the same in 2013.

Bye week: 11

Quarterback: Tony Romo

Romo finished eighth among quarterbacks with 332.9 fantasy points in 2012 … He threw for 4,903 yards (third) and 28 touchdowns (sixth), but also had 19 interceptions (T-1) … Expect another season of big numbers from Romo as a top-10 fantasy QB.

Running back: DeMarco Murray

Despite missing six games because of a sprained foot, Murray ranked 25th among fantasy RBs with 111.4 fantasy points … He ran for 131 yards on opening night against the Giants, but never again cracked the 100-yard barrier, and totaled 663 yards on the season … Injury concerns have dropped Murray to the RB15-RB20 range on fantasy draftboards, but there’s plenty of upside here. As Dirty Harry once said, do you feel lucky?

Running back: Joseph Randle

The Cowboys drafted Randle in the fifth round out of Oklahoma State … He appears to be the fantasy handcuff for Murray, and considering Murray’s injury history, that makes him interesting.

Wide receiver: Dez Bryant

Finished third among wideouts with 207.7 fantasy points in 2012, his third NFL season … Turned into a monster at midseason, catching 50 passes for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns in the season’s final eight games … Figures to be the second or third wide receiver off the board in your draft, and among the top 20 picks overall.

Wide receiver: Miles Austin

Finished 26th with 128.3 fantasy points, catching 66 passes for 943 yards and six touchdowns … He’s not the stud he was a few years ago, but Romo can’t throw every pass to Bryant and Jason Witten, right? … As your WR3, Austin should be solid.

Wide receiver: Dwayne Harris

Caught 17 passes for 222 yards and a score as a backup in 2012 … Even a third wideout on the Cowboys can be somewhat productive, but Harris might lose that role to …

Wide receiver: Terrance Williams

The Cowboys drafted Williams in the third round out of Baylor … Big and fast, when he gets playing time he’ll probably push Austin to the slot … Don’t expect too much in the short term – he’s a deep or keeper league option only.

Tight end: Jason Witten

Caught an astounding 110 passes for 1,039 yards in 2012, but was fifth in standard fantasy scoring because he scored only three touchdowns … Expect more of the same this season from Witten, since Romo LOVES him – he was targeted 150 times (!!!) last season … He’ll be the second tight end off the board in most drafts.

Tight end: Gavin Escobar

The Cowboys drafted Escobar in the second round out of San Diego State … Jerry Jones hinted after the draft that he’d like to see the Cowboys use some Patriots-esque two-tight end sets, but watch how they use Escobar in camp before moving him onto your draft board … Escobar is 6’6”, 251 pounds, and could be nice red-zone target … By that, we mean nice if you draft him, but not if you draft Witten.

Placekicker: Dan Bailey

Bailey was ninth among kickers with 134 fantasy points in 2012 … He was T-15 with 31 field-goal attempts, but made 29 of them, and was T-14 with 37 extra points … Kickers are unpredictable, and Bailey’s middling number of opportunities should worry you a little.

Team defense

This unit ranked 25th in 2012 with 93 fantasy points … They ranked 19th in yards allowed (5,687), 20th in sacks (34), and T-31 in interceptions (seven) … No reason to draft them unless you’re in a league that has you rostering two defenses.

Tagged: Cowboys, Jason Witten, Tony Romo, Miles Austin, DeMarco Murray, Dan Bailey

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