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2020 Player Outlooks: Dallas Cowboys

By Andrew Swanson | 6/25/20 |

Dak Prescott

QB Dak Prescott
(2019 QB Rank - No.3, 25.9 FPts/G)

Dak posted career highs in passing yards (4,902), passing touchdowns (30), and pass attempts (596) last season in route to an impressive third-overall finish based on fantasy points per game, behind only Lamar Jackson and Jameis Winston. Prescott’s 25.7 points per game were nearly four points more per game than in 2018, despite the fact that he rushed for only three rushing touchdowns compared to six in each of his first three seasons in the league.

You can make a strong argument that Prescott boasts the best wide receiving corps in the NFL, with rookie CeeDee Lamb joining an already stacked group of Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Add in Zeke Elliott out of the backfield and an improving Blake Jarwin at tight end, and you have a complete set of receiving threats for Dak that should give him another shot at finishing as a top-5 QB.

No other team in the NFL averaged more yards per game than the Cowboys (431.5), yet the team failed to make the playoffs and head coach Jason Garrett was replaced by former Packers HC Mike McCarthy. Considering McCarthy is an offensive-minded head coach who kept offensive coordinator Kellen Moore on staff to call the plays, Dallas should be in line to be another gold mine for fantasy production in 2020.

RB Ezekiel Elliott
(2019 RB Rank - No.5, 16.4 FPts/G)

2019 was a catch-22 season for Elliott. As expected, he bounced back from a disappointing six rushing touchdown season in 2018 to finish with a more respectable 12 last year, while adding 1357 rushing yards on the ground. Yet he caught 33 fewer passes for 147 fewer receiving yards, despite playing in one extra game. When the final whistle blew on another disappointing year for the Cowboys, Zeke posted 261.7 total fantasy points to finish as a top-5 running back despite averaging the fewest fantasy points of his career.

With the addition of first round pick CeeDee Lamb to an already crowded wide receiving corps, it is difficult to see how Zeke will get back up to his career-high 77 receptions that he posted in 2018.

The lack of passing volume compared to other top running backs like Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley will make it difficult for Elliott to finish the season as the No.1 overall running back. Despite this fact, he is a workhorse back on one of the best offenses in the league, making him worthy of a top-5 pick in drafts this summer.

Fantasy owners should continue to monitor the health of Zeke as we get closer to draft day. Zeke is one of a few Cowboys who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 in early June. Zeke was asymptomatic and claims to be fine, but the long-term effects of the virus are not 100% clear.

WR Amari Cooper
(2019 WR Rank - No.13, 10.5 FPts/G)

With five receiving touchdowns in his first five games, including a monster 226-yard, one-touchdown against the Packers Week 5, Amari Cooper looked primed to challenge Michael Thomas as the top fantasy wide receiver in the league.

Yet in typical Cooper fashion, the former Raider burned owners with one catch for three yards against the Jets. That is what you should expect from Cooper - massive games sandwiched between head-scratching performances that can torpedo your team.

From a volume standpoint, his 7.4 targets per game that he averaged last year is not exactly the type of usage you would like from a No.1 WR. Now with the addition of CeeDee Lamb in the slot, it is hard to envision Cooper getting more than the 119 targets he received last season.

Yes, he is a talented route runner who is playing on one of the best offenses in the league. But from a fantasy perspective, he may not live up to the early-round capital required to draft him.

WR Michael Gallup
(2019 WR Rank - No.12, 10.5 FPts/G)

It may surprise many owners to learn that Michael Gallup averaged the same number of fantasy points per game than Amari Cooper last season. The second-year wideout from Colorado State University posted his first 1100 yards season, while topping 100 targets for the first time.

How did the Cowboys reward Gallup for his amazing play on the field? They used their first round pick on Oklahoma Star WR CeeDee Lamb, widely considered the top wide receiver in the 2020 draft class.

From a real life football perspective the addition of Lamb in the slot is a massive improvement over veteran Randall Cobb. Lamb is more explosive and better at 50/50 balls, giving Dak Prescott a third deadly option in the passing game.

Yet from a fantasy perspective, the addition of Lamb could limit the number of targets for Gallup and Cooper on the outside, effectively limiting the overall value of both players.

Sure, Cobb’s 80 targets are up for grabs now that he is in Houston, and presumably Lamb could only get those vacant targets. But the reality is the Cowboys are going to get their new rookie weapon involved, which does not bode well for the other options. The biggest winner this offseason for the Cowboys: Dak Prescott.

WR CeeDee Lamb
(2019 WR Rank - N/A)

Many writers and draft pundits thought the Cowboys would use their first round pick on a cornerback, safety, or outside rusher to help their defense. Yet when CeeDee Lamb fell into their lap at pick 17, Jerry Jones could not help but take the talented wide receiver.

Lamb projects to work out of the slot, with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on the outside. His 6’2’ frame gives him a size advantage over nickel corners and linebackers who try to guard him over the middle, creating mismatches for opposing defenses.

His addition is huge for Dak Prescott, who is coming off his best season as a pro with 4900 yards and 30 touchdowns. For fantasy owners, Lamb may not get as much volume as some think as the third option, yet he could take over the No.2 option for Gallup in terms of volume.

The skill set and the offense make Lamb a very attractive upside play. Just don’t be surprised if he is not quite a star right out of the gates.

TE Blake Jarwin
(2019 Rank - No.44, 3.6 FPts/G)

The starting tight end for a potent offense like the Cowboys is going to make Jarwin a sleeper favorite for many fantasy owners this season. Now that Jason Witten is a Las Vegas Raider and the Cowboys signed Jarwin to an extension, the narrative for Jarwin apologists is the former Oklahoma State Cowboy is in line for a third-year breakout season.

The upside is there based on talent and apparent opportunity for snaps, but you could argue he is the fifth option on a team that boasts arguably the best receiving corps in the league.

He will flash here and there, but only a massive touchdown rate increase will make him worthy of starting each week.

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