Cowboys Fantasy News
Monday, July 28, 2014, 3:36pm
Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar’s greatest strength is his pass-catching ability. And at 6-6, he gives quarterbacks a big target.
Cowboys offensive play-caller Scott Linehan is trying different ways to get last year’s second-round pick involved in the passing game. During training camp practices, Escobar has often lined up out wide.
But don’t expect him to follow in Jimmy Graham’s footsteps and make a case that he’s a wide receiver.
Escobar isn't going to get drafted in typical leagues but it sounds like he has all the right tools to be a pass-catching threat. With Jason Witten around, he'll have to wait his turn...
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 3:34pm
With Miles Austin now in Cleveland, Cowboys WR Terrance Williams should see an even greater amount of opportunities with Scott Linehan calling plays. Williams says he isn’t feeling any pressure to be Austin, a two-time Pro Bowler.
When Austin was out last year, Williams put up high-end WR2 numbers. This year he comes in ranked 30th making him a low-end WR2, high end WR3. He really has a chance to produce in a pass-heavy Dallas offense as defenses will look to focus on TE Jason Witten and WR Dez Bryant.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 9:36am
Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley had a good first day in pads. The defense could not stay with him in the slot. His best catch came after QB Tony Romo had to throw around linebacker DeVonte Holloman. Beasley was able to adjust and make a diving catch.
Beasley is battling for the slot job but he's only ranked 77th on our list. Given how much the Cowboys pass, and want to pass, his value would likely still only come in deeper formats.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 1:03pm
Cowboys beat writer Todd Archer on the team's running game: I believe you'll see DeMarco Murray go from a career-high 217 carries in 2013 to 250-plus in 2014 provided he stays healthy. He's not been able to play a full season yet, so there is concern there as well. But with an offensive line with three first-round picks and a defense that will need protecting, the wise thing to do will be to run more ... once they get the lead with the passing game. They can't win games 14-10.
Murray should benefit from OC Scott Linehan “growing the pie” offensively (i.e. more plays, and more rush attempts). His FP/touch was #14 among the top 60 running backs in 2013, so if he sees an increase from the 19.3 touches per game he saw last season (and stays healthy), a top 5 season is well within reach.
Vice President Stephen Jones says the Cowboys will change their personality on offense in 2014 behind what he hopes will be dominant offensive line. "I think you see some things that way," Jones said. "We will be running the ball more. I think our offensive line is better than it was last year and I think we ran the ball pretty well last year. I think we’ll run it better this year and I think there will be a bigger commitment to running it." Jones said the Cowboys learned from their success at the end of last season when running back DeMarco Murray tallied the third-most rushing yards in the NFL over the last eight games en route to a Pro Bowl season. It's also not lost on Jones that the Cowboys are 11-0 all-time when Murray has 20 or more carries.
If true, this bodes well for Murray. He should benefit from OC Scott Linehan “growing the pie” offensively (i.e. more plays, and more rush attempts). His FP/touch was #14 among the top 60 running backs in 2013, so if he sees an increase from the 19.3 T/G he saw last season (and stays healthy), a top 5 season is well within reach.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 11:32am
Despite all the talk about all eyes on Tony Romo early in training camp practices, the Dallas Cowboys won’t really know how far along their franchise quarterback is after two back surgeries until he takes his first big hit in a preseason game. Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said that will be Romo’s true test before the regular season kicks off Sept. 7 against San Francisco. “That’s exactly right,” Wilson said. “Right now we’re just seeing if he can throw in all the drills and not have any soreness the next day and continually build on that and the next step after that would obviously be if he could take a hit.” Wilson said Romo was “a little sore” going into his first training camp practice Thursday after running with the team Wednesday.
Romo has finished in the top 11 in six of the last seven seasons, but the back injury is worrisome. Fortunately, his ADP (9.08 currently) makes him a relatively cheap player to add on draft day. If he stays healthy, he has top 10 potential.
Jason Garrett says Tony Romo hasn’t suffered any setbacks and expects the Dallas Cowboys’ franchise quarterback to be a full participant during Thursday’s first practice of training camp. Romo was limited during all of mini camp and organized team activities after having back surgery in December.
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.
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."
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.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 6:05pm
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.”
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
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
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."
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.
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