Cowboys Fantasy News

Cruz: New offense 'more pass happy,' 'enhances my skills'
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 12:02pm

NY Daily News - [Full Article]

Giants WR Victor Cruz is all about the team and winning, but he also likes the sound of 100 catches.

“If there is any offense to do it in, it’s definitely this one. It’s definitely a little bit more pass happy than the offense we’ve had in the past,” he said. “I think I’m a guy that’s capable, so hopefully we can get that done hopefully. Obviously, that comes with wins and all that good stuff.”

“If there is any offense to do it in, it’s definitely this one. It’s definitely a little bit more pass happy than the offense we’ve had in the past,” he said. “I think I’m a guy that’s capable, so hopefully we can get that done hopefully. Obviously, that comes with wins and all that good stuff.”

“It enhances my skills,” he said. “Anytime a receiver can get the ball in his hands quicker, it’s beneficial."

Fantasy Impact:

Cruz was the #1 WR through the first four weeks thanks in large part to a 118-yard, three-TD game against the Cowboys in Week 1. (Cruz cracked the 100-yard mark twice more in the first month.) Unfortunately, his production fell off of a cliff in the final 12 games; Cruz was the #59 WR the rest of the way. The Giants’ offense should bounce back under new OC Ben McAdoo who plans to use Cruz in the Randall Cobb role in his version of the West Coast Offense.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 6:05pm

Dallas Morning News - [Full Article]

The Dallas Cowboys plan to release backup quarterback Kyle Orton, a source tells SportsDay's Brandon George.

If he had decided to retire, Orton would've had to repay $3 million of a $5 million signing bonus. Since he's being cut, he will not be forced to pay the club back.

Orton was fined nearly $70,000 for skipping all of the team's minicamp workouts.

Fantasy Impact:

When the Cowboys signed quarterback Brandon Weeden on March 17, it was thought to be more or less as an insurance policy because Orton was unsure if he wanted to continue playing pro football, the story said. With Orton on the roster, Weeden would have been the No. 3 quarterback. Now, Weeden will go into training camp as Tony Romo's backup, although Caleb Hanie and Dustin Vaughan will also compete for the job.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 9:34am

ESPN - [Full Article]

DeMarco Murray, who is coming off his first 1,000-yard season, and Lance Dunbar are locks to make the Dallas roster.

Joseph Randle has the inside track for the No. 3 job and would likely take over the every-down role if something were to happen to Murray. He will be pushed by Ryan Williams, who is a former second-round pick. He was unable to stay healthy in his time with the Arizona Cardinals but he has natural ability that could push him by Randle, a fifth-round pick last year.

Fantasy Impact:

Murray's handcuff could be an important roster spot on your fantasy team as he often struggles to stay healthy for a full season. It looks like Randle has the inside track but Williams could be an interesting name to watch in camp.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 5:45pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Fascinatingly, the Dallas Cowboys' backup quarterback situation has become a hot topic this offseason.

Kyle Orton skipped all offseason work and is seriously considering retiring -- though it would cost him millions of dollars -- even as the Cowboys continually hope he returns to back up Tony Romo.

In the meantime Brandon Weeden is caught in the middle like a seat filler at an awards show. The former first-round pick is preparing for the No. 2 role regardless of whether or not he'll end up sitting there in 2014.

"I'm going to go about my business the same way," Weeden recently told the team's official website. "I haven't met Kyle, so I can't really speak on it, but whatever he decides to do -- it's kind of out of my control. So what I'm worried about is, if I'm running with the twos out there, do my job to make the twos better. I want to make the team better any way I can, so it doesn't change my mindset or the way I feel about it."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 2:18pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams showed last year the game isn't too big for him. He was able to make big plays in big moments.

With Dez Bryant on the other side and Jason Witten expected to line up mostly on his side, Williams will have the chance to make plays. Tony Romo will not be afraid to come after him. Some believe he will be a breakout player on this offense in part because of the attention Bryant and Witten will receive.

He doesn't have great speed, but he still averaged 16.7 yards per catch. When he gets rolling, he is difficult to stop. He has the tools to be a 1,000-yard receiver, but he doesn't need to have 1,000 yards for the offense to be successful.

Fantasy Impact:

The WR2 spot looks like it's Williams' to lose. He was impressive last year, especially when Miles Austin was injured, putting up #12 WR numbers from Weeks 4-10 until Austin returned. We rank him 32nd and project him for just under 1,000 yards. His ADP is the 9th round and we think he's at least high-end WR3 material. Rookie Devin Street is the team's only other true outside WR.

Monday, July 7, 2014, 8:15pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

For Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, rehabbing from back surgery has become a familiar process.

He had to do it in 2013, when he missed all of OTAs and minicamp while making his way back from a late-spring operation, and he’s had to do it again this year after the injury that forced him to miss Week 17 last season. Romo was able to do some limited work in the offseason program this year, which has left him well ahead of where he was the first time around.

“Miles ahead of last year,” Romo said, via the Dallas Morning News. “I don’t think they’re comparable. I think last year I was just starting around this point so this year I’ve had whatever months to kind of get myself into feeling like I can go. Now it’s going to be more perfecting as opposed to just trying to hammer everything out in four weeks, three weeks.”

Fantasy Impact:

Romo is ranked 12th among our QBs and presents pretty good value at the position for the 8th round. We project him for over 30 passing TDs, which is higher than seven QBs ahead of him on our list. If you plan to wait, and wait some more at QB, Romo is a guy to target midway through your draft, assuming he stays on track.

Monday, July 7, 2014, 4:04pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick likes to please. He especially likes to please his quarterback, Tony Romo.

As Frederick enters his second season with the Cowboys, he has one goal.

“I’m going to try and do as much as I can to take as much as I can off Tony that he was doing before for the offensive line,” he said. “Not necessarily because I was a rookie or this or that, but because, if I can see it better, that’s going to take one thing off his plate and that’s going to help the team as a whole.”

Part of Romo’s responsibility is setting the protections with calling out the middle linebacker. The offensive line follows the assignment. If Frederick can take that responsibility away from Romo, then Romo can worry more about the coverage.

When Romo and Frederick watch film of practices or games, they discuss what worked and didn’t work, what they might do differently the next time.

“I think what really has helped is going through the season last year,” Frederick said. “It’s literally about situations. You can talk about as many situations as you can think of and still see 50 more. It’s about being in situations and maybe you make a mistake. Maybe last year I’d change the Mike (linebacker call) on something and he would rather have kept it. After it happened, he told me, ‘OK, this is what I would’ve done.’ Now in the next situation I can do it.”

Sunday, July 6, 2014, 9:00pm

Dallas Morning News - [Full Article]

Rangers beat writer Gerry Fraley and columnist Rick Gosselin joined Fox Sports Southwest's Dana Larson on Monday for SportsDay OnAir. Here are some highlights.

On Scott Linehan:

Fraley: "I saw Scott in St. Louis when he got fired midway through the season. He had Steven Jackson who is one of the most gifted running backs in football and a cut ahead of Murray right now. He had no idea what to do with Stephen Jackson in that Rams offense. I still think Linehan is a puzzling hire to me. I understand he is tight with Jason Garrett. He is even more pass happy than Jason Garrett. When you have a line with three first rounders and a quality back in Murray, why do you want a guy who wants to throw the ball even more? I don't get it. Unless he has undergone a real conversion in his thought process, Ill be stunned if they run the ball more. They may run it less."

Gosselin: "They didn't run the ball in Detroit last year. That's one of the few teams who ran it less than the Cowboys. In this building, the owner, the GM, the head coach, the coordinator and the quarterback all want to pass. The only one guy who doesn't want to pass is DeMarco Murray and he gets out voted every time."

Fantasy Impact:

Last season, the Cowboys were 3rd in pass % (63.6%) while the Lions were 13th (58.8%). The raw numbers show that the Lions (445 rushing attempts) ran more than the Cowboys (336 attempts) as well, so we're not sure where Fraley and Gosselin are getting their numbers. Linehan does have a history of being pass-happy, but he ran the ball with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in 2013 and his arrival should be good for Murray in 2014.

Monday, June 30, 2014, 12:55pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Browns have staged preliminary talks with Brian Hoyer's camp about a contract extension.

Rapoport spoke with Hoyer's agent, Joe Linta, who confirmed that while discussions have taken place, "it will be a very difficult deal to do. We're always open to talking with the Browns, but we're content to wait and see what happens down the road."

The reality is that Hoyer's value might shift dramatically between now and season's end. He could materialize as a successful starter or remain a solid backup. The difference could mean as much a $7 million per year, one executive from another team told Rapoport.

Fantasy Impact:

Hoyer impressed in three games last year, winning two, before getting hurt for the season. Early reports say he's outplayed first round pick Johnny Manziel, so it seems like it's in Hoyer's best interest to let things play out in camp. This time last year, the Browns were high on Hoyer, too, but the job went to Brandon Weeden before Weeden got hurt. Without Josh Gordon, it could be hard for either QB to be a legit fantasy starter, however.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 3:09pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Discussing Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar...

"Well, he's a guy that's going to be a complete weapon," said Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown, according to Fox Sports Southwest. "We can line him up anywhere on the team-tailback spot, at the wide receiver spot, in the slot.

"He has tremendous hands and he's just not a specialty guy. He could play tailback if you need him to go out there and give you 15 or 20 carries. He's that type of kid," Brown continued. "He brings a whole different dimension, a whole different vibe in our room as far as what he does and we're looking forward to using him as a weapon as well."

Fantasy Impact:

New OC Scott Linehan used two RBs in Detroit last season, so it's possible that Dunbar works his way into a RB3/flex role if he gets enough touches behind DeMarco Murray.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 8:28am

ESPN - [Full Article]

ESPN's Stephania Bell on Cowboys QB Tony Romo's back injury: "The protocol following such a procedure is fairly straightforward, and the timetable for return to activity sees the majority of athletes coming back within six months. Romo appears to have made steady progress in his recovery, enough to allow him to participate in light offseason workouts and organized team activities. Both he and the Cowboys anticipate his full participation in training camp.

"At this point, there is no reason to think Romo won't be ready to start the season. The biggest concern for the quarterback will be what it has always been: Will he have enough protection against opposing defenses that, given his accumulation of various injuries throughout his career, see an even bigger bull's-eye on his back?"

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams 'playing with more confidence'
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 11:31pm

Dallas Cowboys - [Full Article]

A player that has quietly gone about his business during Cowboys OTAs and minicamp has been receiver Terrance Williams, who has been playing with more confidence each snap.

During the 7-on-7 period down in the red zone, Williams ran a route out of the right slot and was able to put himself in a position right between Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, who were in zone coverage along the goal line. Williams was able to drive hard inside, then straighten his route up buying a little space. Brandon Weeden nicely read the coverage and was able to just get the ball over the top of Wilcox, who was at full extension.

Williams, who has a tendency to body catch the ball in the middle of the field, extended his hands and grabbed the ball at the highest point before landing with both feet in bounds in the back of the end zone. It was an outstanding throw by Weeden but an even better route and catch by Williams.

Fantasy Impact:

With Miles Austin basically sidelined from Week 4 to Week 10, Williams was the #12 WR in fantasy, racking up 24 catches for 438 yards and five TDs in that seven-game span. In four games where he played at least 80 percent of his teams snaps, he averaged 11.0 FP (#15 WR numbers). In eight games where he played at least 70 percent of the snaps, he averaged 9.0 FP (#22 WR numbers). He faded upon Austin’s return to starter’s snaps, but showed enough in his rookie season to make him an intriguing middle-round pick in 2014. The Cowboys figure to throw a lot under new OC Scott Linehan, who was pass-happy while in Detroit. With Austin gone, the path is clear for a breakout season from Williams.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 1:31pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar is running full speed now and is hearing praises from new offensive play caller Scott Linehan about how he's going to be used.

In nine games last season, Dunbar touched the ball 37 times, producing zero touchdowns. However, his speed gives the Cowboys a polar opposite to what starter DeMarco Murray is. Murray is quick, not fast, displays good vision when he runs and is a physical runner.

Dunbar is fast with elusive moves.

It's these skills that Liehan likes and hopes to take advantage of in 2014.

"I think the guy’s got a real versatile role package for us," Linehan said. "He can run it. He can catch it. He has the ability to light it up and in a lot of locations and that’s what you want to do with those guys. The one thing I’ve noticed is his ability as a runner when we run the football with him and he’s lined up there. When he gets his reps, see him making very good cuts and looks like he’s got a great ability to accelerate and get through that hole. So it’ll be fun watching this kid play next year."

Fantasy Impact:

Linehan did split the work between Reggie Bush and Joique Bell last season in Detroit, but Murray is more of a complete back than Bush is.

Tony Romo (back) will continue to be limited in minicamp
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 11:24am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Through the organized team activities, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been kept out of competitive drills as well as some individual work as he recovers from December back surgery.

With the Cowboys' minicamp starting Tuesday, Romo will continue down the same road. Romo has said recently he expects to be 100 percent within a few weeks, but that time frame comes after the Cowboys' offseason is over.

Romo has gone through walkthrough drills with the first-team offense and thrown individual routes with wide receivers, running backs and tight ends. He has not taken a snap in 11-on-11 or 7-on-7 drills. He has also sat out of the quarterback's footwork drills as the team attempts to protect him from jarring motions as much as possible.

Fantasy Impact:

While it's good to hear that Romo expects to be 100 percent soon, he is missing valuable reps in a new offense, and that's a bit concerning. Much has been written about how Romo will thrive under new “Passing Game Coordinator” Scott Linehan. Under Linehan, the Lions threw the ball 62.2% of the time in the last two seasons. Over the same span, the Cowboys threw it 64.3% of the time, so the Cowboys may not be that much more "pass happy" under Linehan, though the number of plays they run could increase, helping the offense as a whole. The Lions have averaged 1,105 plays in the last two seasons, while the Cowboys averaged just 968 plays, so Detroit ran 14% more plays than Dallas over that span. This bodes well for Romo and Co. Hopefully that back holds up.

Victor Cruz not worried about contract this offseason
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 6:47pm

NJ.com - [Full Article]

Giants WR Victor Cruz is a year removed from the hardest moment of his professional career. Yes, there was a massive contract extension waiting for him at the end, but there were also the moments where he had to shut everyone out and simply trust the process.

He wasn't at OTA's, spending his time at an off-site training facility attempting to recreate the practices. He wasn't with his coaches, even though he wanted to be.

But now...

"I'm extremely happy," Cruz said at an event at Citi Field on Wednesday. "I'm finally at the point where I can just relax and play the game and get better as a player and get better as a teammate, a leader and an individual."

Fantasy Impact:

Cruz was the #1 WR through the first four weeks thanks in large part to a 118-yard, three-TD game against the Cowboys in Week 1. (Cruz cracked the 100-yard mark twice more in the first month.) Unfortunately, his production fell off of a cliff in the final 12 games; Cruz was the #59 WR the rest of the way. The Giants’ offense should bounce back under new OC Ben McAdoo who plans to use Cruz in the Randall Cobb role in his version of the West Coast Offense.