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Now that we've got a handful of Cowboys' games to reflect upon, let's look closer at what this team has to offer from a fantasy football perspective.
QB Tony Romo - If you're a Romo owner, you have to be rather pleased with his fantasy production thus far. He has an array of weapons to throw to, and his protection looks better with Marc Colombo settling back in on the right side. In 5 games, he has completed 143 of 206 (69.4%) for 1,566 yards with 10 TDs. He looks spot on most of the time; although, the 7 INTs are frustrating.
More often than not, Romo has put up some huge numbers against the Giants. Again, the Cowboys find themselves backed into a corner. Whether or not the defense and special teams continue their meltdowns, expect the Dallas offense to come out firing on all cylinders. It's a must win to salvage the season. Gamble on Romo coming up big. Start him.
Jones hasn't yet hit the homeruns that we expect him to, but his role in the offense is expanding. This makes him a good bye-week filler and a viable #2 RB in PPR leagues.
RBs (cont.) Marion Barber - If the team ever gets into a goal-and-short situation, Barber looks to be the guy. He impressed in short yardage last week. That, however, means little in fantasy football. For now, keep him on the bench.
Tashard Choice - The Razorback formation is growing extinct in the Dallas playbook, which means less involvement for Choice. Now that Barber has been seeing more snaps as the 3rd-down back, Choice rarely hits the field anymore. Sit.
WRs Miles Austin - Always play your studs. And if there is a fantasy stud on Dallas, it is Austin. Yes, he had an off game vs. the Vikings, catching 2 balls for 12 yards. That's more the exception than the rule. Had he not been for called for a push-off (I've seen worse), Austin would have gotten away with a 68-yard TD.
This is the Cowboys third home game of the season. In the first vs. Chicago, Austin caught 10 for 142. In the second vs. Tennessee, he caught 9 for 166 and a TD. Start him.
Roy Williams - One pleasant surprise for this team is the play of Williams (21 for 306 yards with 5 TDs). Last season he developed into a reliable end zone threat, which he has continued into this season. Not only that, but he is making the tough catches and even hooking up with Romo downfield.
While you can't expect him to get another 2 TD game as he did in Week 3 @ Houston and last week vs. Minnesota, you can lock him in as a decent #2WR or a solid flex player. The Cowboys spread the ball around some, but if anything has improved this season, it's Romo & Williams' chemistry. Start him.
Dez Bryant - The rookie's big-play abilities and usually dependable hands will see him grab some of Austin and Williams' looks from Romo. He caught his first TD of the season last week and already has 18 grabs for 211 yards. Not bad for a rookie playing limited snaps. His receptions, however, have dwindled since the first game of the season when he caught 8. Then, he looked to be a potentially solid PPR candidate. Now, he's a risky start unless you need someone for a flex position.
In leagues that award points for special teams yards, Bryant may be a consideration if bye weeks have ravaged your receiving corps. He has said that his ribs and ankle "feel fine", so he may be back on full-time punt return duties as early as this week. Is he due for a huge game? That's the gamble you have to take with him. Special teams points and/or flex play only.
TEs Jason Witten - If you drafted Witten, chances are he is your best option at the position. Keep him there. By no means is he a touchdown machine, though he did snag one in Week 5. He is healthy and remains a cog in this offense. Detroit's TEs combined for 9 receptions against the Giants last week.
When in need Romo goes to Witten, especially versus New York. Start him.
Cowboys D/ST - The defense can hold the opposition in terms of limiting yardage, ranking 4th overall allowing just 281.4 ypg. It's the points that kill them. Combined with the points and field position given up by the special teams, the Cowboys rank 21st in the NFL giving up 22.2 ppg. That's about what the Giants offense averages (22.3 ppg, 11th overall).
WR Hakeem Nicks has 6 scores on the year and is a threat to go the distance wherever he is on the field. Terence Newman has been the Cowboys' most consistent CB this year, but it will most likely be up to Mike Jenkins to cover Nicks. Orlando Scandrick was abused last season by Steve Smith, and Mario Manningham lit up the Dallas secondary as well. This season though, the New York offense has improved mostly in the running game. Behind starter Ahmad Bradshaw (101 carries for 582 rushing yards with 3 TDs), it ranks 5th overall in rushing.
Some positives about the Dallas D/ST unit are that they are getting to the QB (12 sacks) and forcing some turnovers (2 INTs, 3 fumbles). And with Dez Bryant returning punts, there is always a chance for a big return. Consider starting.
When teams are desperate, expect their stars to shine. Look how Detroit's QBs, Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton, combined for more than 300 yards against the Giants. With absolutely no running game, they went to the air and Calvin "Megatron" Johnson hauled in an 87-yard score in a 5-catch 146-yard effort.
Surely, the Cowboys can put together a more balanced output than that on the Giants' D to get you some fantasy points, right? They must win, so they must score. I know we're all nervous for the game, especially considering we have to wait all the way until Monday night.
For now, let's discuss some fantasy football. And don't forget: SBNation has a fantasy page complete with Start 'Em or Sit 'Em advice, injury updates, and even projections.
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