2012 Fantasy Football Preview: Dallas Cowboys

Contributed by: Al king
Last Updated: Jul 13, 2012 11:23 AM





"America's Team" is looking to take a step in the right direction this season after missing the playoffs last year in an always tough NFC East.

The team who had the "Super Bowl or Bust" slogan just a couple seasons ago has gone through plenty of ups and downs along the way.

Jerry Jones is talking about their clock running out on them and if they are going to win they need to do it now. With the emergence of DeMarco Murray last season and reports of Dez Bryant looking to erupt this year the Cowboys could return to the playoffs and make a run of it.

Oh and did I mention Tony Romo had a kid during the offseason? (Pop-culture reference: check.)

(PROUD NEW FATHER) QB TONY ROMO: Romo may not be the greatest real life football quarterback or leader, but when it comes to fantasy football this is a guy to target. In an offense that relies heavily on his arm, Romo consistently puts up solid fantasy stats. The 'boys like to sling it around the field forty to fifty times a contest. With a tight end that he can depend on and two electric wideouts to work with, Romo has enough weapons around him to succeed. Romo is a very strong pick at his current ADP of 54 and 9th quarterback off the board.

Projections: 4,320 yds 33, TD, 15 int

Murray stormed onto the scene last season after, no surprise, Felix Jones got hurt. Murray's first start was very impressive as he racked up 253 rushing yards on only 25 attempts. He didn't slow down and eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark three of his first five starts.

The other two he finished with over 100 yards from scrimmage. A fractured ankle ended his season early, but he is fully recovered and ready to run wild this season. Murray is in somewhat of a timeshare with Felix Jones but if last season was any indication, Murray can play Jones right out of some carries.

Projections: 235 att, 1,110 yds, 7 TD

Felix Jones is coming into his fifth NFL season and has only one in which he has played all 16 games. Jones has played second fiddle his entire career starting in Arkansas with McFadden, then in Dallas with Barber. Jones's body can not handle the duration of a full season or a larger workload. He is playing second fiddle once again to DeMarco Murray, Jones' only fantasy value will come from a Murray injury.

Projections: 125 att, 500 yds, 3 TD

(WHERE DID THIS GUY COME FROM ANYWAY?)  WR MILES AUSTIN: Miles Austin came from literally out of nowhere in 2009 with 81 receptions, 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns.

In his two seasons prior to 2009 he had a combined 18 receptions for 354 yards and three touchdowns through 28 games. So when I say from out of nowhere, I mean out of nowhere.

He has a nose for the endzone and of his 43 receptions last season, seven of those were touchdowns in only 10 games. Austin and Romo have great chemistry which should be shown off this season. He has a chance to be a solid No. 1 WR in fantasy land and should be confidently drafted in the late 4th to early 5th rounds.

PROJECTIONS: 87 rec, 1,200 yds, 10 TD

(SHOW ME SOMETHING KID!) WR DEZ BRYANT: Desmond Demond Bryant is coming into his third NFL season, a season in which wide receivers take that next step toward greatness. Dez could and should be the next one to continue that trend. He is an excellent talent and has shown flashes of what he can do.

Many people around the league believe this is the year that Dez makes that giant leap toward super stardom. Surprisingly Dez has recorded just one 100-yard receiving game in his NFL career. Bryant has problems finishing out games, whether it is an injury that pulls him out or just conditioning issues, Dez can all but disappear in fourth quarters.

Projections: 83 rec, 1,100 yds, 9 TD

One of the top five tight ends year in and year out, Jason Witten is no slouch at the position and will probably finish there again this season. Romo has an immense amount of trust in Witten and anytime that he is in trouble he looks for #82.

Witten has been over 1,000 yards receiving two of the last three season and missed it by only 58 yards the other. "The white ox" possesses plenty of yards after catch ability and is hard to bring down, and if you listen closely you can hear "G'OFF ME!" as he runs defenders over on the field. (Sorry, couldn't help myself) Witten may not be the flashiest or sexiest pick off the board but you know you will get a very productive tight-end who can help you win a fantasy championship.

Projections: 87 rec, 1,050 yds, 4 TD

Handcuff: Felix Jones/Phillip Tanner: Obviously you wouldn't draft both players but you need to be sure that you know who the Cowboys third-string running back is, that would be Phillip Tanner. If you land Murray you need to take Jones but you can not trust Jones for more than a two-game stretch so keep your eyes peeled for Mr. Tanner.

Sleeper: Danny Coale/Jesse Holley/Kevin Ogletree/Raymond Radway: My point being, whoever the winner of the No. 3 spot is will be the sleeper for this team. The Cowboys re-signed Ogletree this offseason so they obviously see something in him, Danny Coale is a rookie who was handed the spot but got injured and opened up the race, Raymond Radway spent last season on the IR but has lots of speed and runs a 4.39 40 yard dash, and Jesse Holley has great acceleration but lacks the natural talent for the position.

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