I believe that to properly analyze the 2017 IDPs you need to have an idea of how they’ll ALL perform so you can benchmark and compare them effectively. So I built a model using past performance, efficiency, scheme information and coaching tendencies to predict what will happen in 2017. I’ve applied that to my best estimates for how teams will use players this year which gives a projection and ranking for all IDPs. You can read more about what I did and how here.
I hesitated to write this article. I’m pretty sure it will be the highest in the series in terms of “Shut up! You know nothing about the Cowboys!” comments. It would be that way whatever I said, but I’m firmly in the camp of believing the Cowboys will regress as a team. Last year everything went pretty perfectly, but in today’s NFL letting three of your starting secondary walk is rarely a good thing.
In terms of stat crew, Dallas is slightly odd. Essentially they’re fairly low on solo tackles but fairly high on assists. So it’s not an automatic advantage for Cowboys players, but in the right scoring systems inside linebackers and strong safeties in particular can still be very productive. It’s also useful in leagues where defensive linemen have assists scored as heavily as solo tackles.
None I’m afraid. I do not believe that any Cowboys will be top-end elite IDP options. Of course several have the potential to do so – I just currently have others modelled above them for 2017.