They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Does disappointment count? The Cowboys have had their share of frustrations the past few seasons in both fantasy and reality. Just when you think everything is in place, something seems to go haywire with this franchise. This next season is pivotal for them as they attempt to do the unthinkable and make the Super Bowl in their own hometown. It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility, as they seemingly have the personnel to get it done. This team is loaded with players who can make a serious fantasy impact this season and beyond. It’s time to cowboy up for this edition of the dynasty capsule.
Players in their Prime
Tony Romo QB
Tony Romo’s here to stay. He finished last season with 4,483 passing yards, 27 TDs, and just nine INTs. There’s really no question about his long-term value in dynasty circles. He’s a top signal caller, just under the top tier of Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.
Miles Austin WR
I can’t recall a rocket-like rise like Austin’s since, well, Tony Romo. A sleeper candidate dynasty circles last year, Austin erupted for 81 catches, 1,320 yards and a ridiculous 11 TDs. When you combine his precise route running with his incredible run after the catch ability, you have a No. 1 WR in reality and fantasy. Dez Bryant is in the fold, but Austin is still Tony Romo’s biggest weapon for the foreseeable future. If you wonder about Austin’s staying power, consider he’s rumored to be dating a Kardashian. Those girls don’t pick just anyone!
Jason Witten TE
Many owners in dynasty leagues are down on Witten, but there’s really no reason to be. His TD total last year of two is simply a fluke. I focus more on his ridiculous 94 catches and 1,030 yards as a TE. He’s right on par with Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, the rising Jermichael Finley or any other TE you want to compare him against. I see Witten as a “buy low” candidate in dynasty circles right now.
Felix Jones RB
It turns out the 2008 NFL Draft may just provide a No. 1 RB from the University of Arkansas. Unfortunately for the Raiders, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be Darren McFadden. Jones is ready for prime time as the lead back, as indicated by his 5.9 yards per carry average last year and explosive playmaking ability. He’s going to need to prove his durability, but it looks like Marion Barber is in the rearview mirror at this point. It’s time for Felix Jones to become a household name.
Tashard Choice RB
Choice has talent, there’s no doubt about that. If Barber isn’t in the long-term plans for Dallas, Choice has a chance to shine as the “2” in the future “1-2 punch” with Felix Jones. If Barber regains his form, Choice is a prime candidate to be traded. Talented RBs simply don’t sit on the bench for too long. Dynasty owners need to remain patient, but his time could come in the next couple of seasons.
Dez Bryant WR
The hype machine is in full swing after some captivating Spring practices from the former Oklahoma State star. The history on Dez Bryant is well documented, but he’s done nothing so far to make Dallas believe they didn’t get the steal of the NFL Draft this year. He needs to get into football shape this Summer and get his timing down with Tony Romo, but there’s no doubt Dallas wants to see him on the field sooner rather than later. Once he gets on it, I don’t think he’ll be off it for the next decade.
Players with Falling Values
Marion Barber RB
It seems like decades ago when Barber exploded into the world of fantasy football with his barbaric, smash mouth style of running. Ironically, that brute strength and desire to run through people may have shortened his career. Barber looked worn out at times last year as he disappointed fantasy owners by mustering just 932 yards and seven touchdowns on just 4.4 yards per carry. With Jones prepared to take on a bigger role, it looks like Barber’s days as a productive No. 2 fantasy RB may be over.
Roy Williams WR
The Cowboys paid a king’s ransom for Williams’ 38 receptions, 596 yards and seven TD receptions. Try as they may to deny it, but the drafting of Dez Bryant is an indictment the Williams trade was a mistake. He’s working hard to reclaim his starting job, but there’s no reason for dynasty owners to believe he can hold off Bryant this year. The Cowboys are going to remember the poor route running and eight dropped passes last year. That may be forgivable for a rookie, but not a high-priced veteran.
Patrick Crayton WR
The outspoken Crayton seemed even more displeased with the Bryant pick than Williams. He’s cooled off a little after requesting a trade, but the writing’s on the wall here. Crayton’s days as a spot starter in fantasy are over unless he gets moved to another team.
Martellus Bennett TE
It seems he’s been on this list so long that he needs a CPAP machine. There’s no denying his personality or his ability, that’s for sure. A Witten injury would vault him to No. 1 TE status in a heartbeat. Remember, the Bengals reportedly made a significant offer for him and were turned down. The Cowboys like his prospects and so should dynasty owners.
Kevin Ogletree WR
He’d be very high on the overall sleeper list if not for all the WRs ahead of him on this team. In fact, the team is very high on Sam Hurd as well. It’s just going to take a significant injury or the movement of Crayton and Williams for them to get their chance.
Lonyae Miller RB
Many people don’t know much about Miller since he played behind Ryan Mathews at Fresno State. The Cowboys weren’t on that list since they signed him quickly as an undrafted free agent. He has an uphill climb to make this team, but this kid is a bruiser. He’s already impressing the coaching staff.
The Cowboys have a lot to like from a dynasty fantasy football perspective. With young skill position players and a solid QB leading the way, the sky seems to be the limit. Can they finally put it all together this year and play for the trophy in their own stadium? Time will tell, but I wouldn’t mess with Texas.
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