Dallas Cowboys Team Profile 2016 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
Somebody is going to make a lot of money in 2016, and they may not even have to play a single down of football. Most assuredly, Dallas owner Jerry Jones is never going into another NFL season with a sub par quarterback backing up QB Tony Romo. He’ll empty a bank (one of his) to make sure of it. Despite starting the season 2-0 and leading the NFC East, the Cowboys lost their next seven games and finished the season by going 2-12 in their final 14 games. Romo played in those first two games, then two in Weeks 11 & 12, before injuring his left clavicle………….again.
2016 Team Outlook – Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington and the New York Giants all live in the NFC East Division. Since 1998, every team in the division has won the division at least 4 times. Dallas could win it in 2016. Or perhaps Washington, or Philadelphia….or the New York Giants.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook-
QB– In Week 12, Tony Romo left the Thursday game against the Carolina Panthers after he was sacked by Thomas Davis. It was Romo’s second game back from a broken collarbone he suffered in Week 2 that kept him out of seven games. The Cowboys went 0-7 with Romo out and fell to the bottom of the NFC East. In 2015, the Dallas QB carousel went Romo, Weeden, Cassel, Romo, Cassel and Kellen Moore. Jerry Jones says Romo is good for 3-5 more years. Maybe. Now for a reliable back up….could be RG3, it won’t be Manziel. ( 10 Reasons Manning Becomes A Cowboy )
RBs– In 2015, RB DeMarco Murray went to Philadelphia so RBs Joseph Randle and RB Darren McFadden started the season as the two running backs for Dallas. Utter-Fantasy warned fantasy football owners not to get excited about RB Darren McFadden. Written in the pre-season….”Don’t even consider RB McFadden as the starter. This guy is insurance only.” Truth is 1) Utter-Fantasy got this WRONG! RB McFadden rushed for over 1000 yards…..2) The O-Line in Dallas is as good as it gets. McFadden took advantage of it, and had one of his best seasons. Joseph Randle was cut in November 2015, and has been arrested 4 times in the last 17 months. UPDATE: Cowboys signed RB Alfred Morris, formerly of the Redskins, to a two-year, $3.5 million contract. Alf looked worn down in 2015, and will likely be a change of pace back and insurance for Dallas.
WRs– WR Dez Bryant is Dallas’ big-time play maker and was the #3 wide receiving for the 2014 season. His stats took a huge hit in 2015, and he dropped to #78 with only 401 receiving yards and 3 TDs. Their was absolutely no chemistry with back up QB Matt Cassel, and Bryant’s injuries limited him to only 9 games in 2015. WR Terrance Williams was the top receiver in Dallas last season, but even then he was only the #44 wide receiver on the year. Even WR Cole Bessley topped Bryant’s numbers. He was the #54 wide receiver on the year, with 536 receiving yards and 5 TDs. 6’3″ 5th rounder Devin Street was drafted in 2014 ( 2014 NFL Draft) and has been slow to make an impact- 114 yards and 1 TD in 2015
TEs- Unlike the wide receivers in Dallas for 2015, TE Jason Witten’s numbers weren’t hurt as badly with all the turmoil at the quarterback position. In 2014, Witten was the #10 tight end at the end of the season with 703 yards and 5 TDs.
In 2015, Witten was the #12 tight end at the end of the season with 712 yards and 3 TDs. ( 2 of his 3 TDs came in Week 1 with Romo playing quarterback.)
K– In 2015, no place kicker had a better FG% than Dallas’ Dan Bailey ( 93.8%) He went 30 for 32 on field goals, and nailed all 25 of 25 extra points ( even with the extra yardage added in 2015) As of October 2014, when his 100th made field goal made him eligible for ranking, Bailey became the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history, and is the only kicker to convert over 90 percent of his kicks.
DEF– Dallas can’t stop the run! At least not in 2015. Dallas ranked #29th vs the run last season, with Buffalo, Chicago and San Diego the only teams worst. With an offense still in tact ( other than a quality QB back-up for Romo, and depth at running back)…. the Cowboys will concentrate on solidify it’s defense.
2015 Dallas Fantasy Surprises– It has to be RB Darren McFadden as Utter-Fantasy’s surprise for 2015. Even with the best O-Line in the NFL, it was hard to imagine this guy rushing for over 1000 yards. Here are his stats previous to 2015….2014- 534 rushing yards…2013- 379 rushing yards…2012- 216 rushing yards. An under-achiever most of his career, but an over-achiever in 2015.
2016 Free Agents that Dallas Needs to Address – QB Matt Cassel, RB Lance Dunbar, RB Robert Turbin, TE James Hanna, FB Tyler Clutts, DE Greg Hardy, DE Jeremy Mincey, MLB Rolando McClain, CB Morris Claiborne, OLB Kyle Wilber, OG Ronald Leary, DT Jack Crawford, NT Nick Hayden, OG Mackenzy Bernadea
2016 NFL Draft – The immediate needs of Dallas is fixing this #29 ranked defense. They need new corners to help safety Byron Jones, and a reinforced defensive line. Better linebackers will also help to stop the run, which Dallas couldn’t do last season. Dallas’ entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- DALLAS’ DRAFT
Did You Know– Longtime Cowboys head coach Tom Landry was drafted by the New York Giants in 1947 as a defensive back. He was also the first coach to ever win 100 games with one team in one decade.
All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS
Team home page: www.dallascowboys.com