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Dallas Cowboys 2020 Fantasy Outlook

The Dallas Cowboys look to bring a highly explosive offense to the field in 2020 under new coach Mike McCarthy.

Luckily, they have the firepower to do so with quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, and wide receivers Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb. This means quite a few fantasy pickups from this team during drafts this summer.

Let’s break down the 2020 fantasy outlook for the Dallas Cowboys.

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Yes, there are contract negotiations in the background, but when talking about strictly on the field, QB Dak Prescott is a fantasy stud. His fantasy rankings among active QBs are as follows: 6th (2016), 11th (2017, Zeke suspension year), 10th (2018), and 2nd (2019). He’s been a top-10 fantasy QB his entire NFL career except for when the circumstances surrounding the team in 2017 led to a lower ranking.

The Mississippi State product finished 2019 with a career-high 4,902 yards (2nd among all QBs), career-high 30 pass touchdowns (4th among QBs), 11 picks, and a career-high 306.4 pass yards per game (3rd among QBs). He also had a 14.8 percent poor throws per pass attempt rate.

The QB also adds modest rushing abilities to his fantasy value. He rushed for 277 yards and three touchdowns last season. He will be 27-years-old to start the season, and there is much hope for Prescott from a fantasy perspective.

Though the team signed former Bengal Andy Dalton as a backup in case the contract talks stall, let’s just assume the best and go with Prescott being the starter Week 1. Monitor this contract situation and draft Prescott as a QB starter in re-draft leagues (as long as there is no indication he may hold out) considering the weapons he has and the past stats. He’s a top-five fantasy QB for 2020.


Running Back

Like their QB, RB Ezekiel Elliott is elite when it comes to fantasy. Since he entered the league in 2016, his fantasy ranks among active RBs are as follows: 2nd (2016), 9th (2017, suspension year), 5th (2018), and 4th (2019). He has consistently been a top-five fantasy RB (sans suspension year) and brings great potential each season.

Last season was considered a “down-year” per the RB’s standards, but still productive overall considering his rank among RBs in fantasy. He compiled 18.8 rush attempts per game (2nd among NFL RBs), 1,357 rush yards (4th among NFL RBs), 12 rushing touchdowns (T-5th among NFL RBs), 84.8 rush yards per game (5th among NFL RBs), 54 receptions, 420 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns.

Unsurprisingly, Elliott also had 77.5 percent of carries inside the 10 and 80 percent of carries inside the 5. Nine of his 12 rush touchdowns came inside the 5.

Elliott will be 25-years-old to start the season. There is no reason to consider him anything less than a top-three RB considering his workhorse load and robust touchdown potential. Take him with your first pick in re-draft leagues if possible and don’t look back.


Wide Receiver

This is the trickiest position to analyze on the ‘Boys. Last year, Amari Cooper had a breakout season, notching 79 receptions, 1,189 yards (career-high), 15.1 yards per reception (career-high), 8 reception touchdowns (career-high), and 74.3 yards per game.

He paced the team in targets last year too (119/597, 19.9%). Cooper increased his value as a receiver last season. He ranked 8th in receiving yards among NFL WRs and proved he can shoulder the role of WR1 on the team.

Michael Gallup broke out last year as well, getting 66 receptions, 1,107 yards, 16.8 yards per catch, six touchdowns, and 113/597 targets (18.9%). The Colorado State product improved drastically in his second year. The 24-year-old had 33 receptions, 507 yards, and two touchdowns in his 2018 rookie season.

Newly drafted WR CeeDee Lamb will naturally be a threat to Cooper and Gallup. Owner Jerry Jones took the best player available at Number 17 in the 2020 draft, and they are adding a new dimension to this offense. The Oklahoma product has the size (6’2”, 198 lbs), strength, and is explosive on the field. He finished three seasons of college with 3,292 receiving yards and averaged 19 yards per catch. He had two 1,000-yard seasons. Last season was by far his best, as Lamb had 62 receptions, 1,327 yards, 21.4 yards per catch, and 14 touchdowns. Here are his workout metrics from Player Profiler:

Nevertheless, Cooper and Gallup are better options to draft at this point considering Lamb needs time to build a rapport with QB Dak Prescott and in-person meetings are not happening very often. Cooper is a solid WR1 and top-10 or 15 fantasy WR, while Gallup and Lamb can be considered WR2s or WR3s and great second or third receivers on a fantasy team. Nevertheless, consider the much more divided target share among these top three receivers for 2020 when drafting them. Consistency may always not be there considering any of them could have a breakout game any given week.


Tight End

This is the only position to avoid when it comes to drafting Cowboys players in fantasy. Reliable veteran Jason Witten returned last year, but was already 37-years-old, and is now on the Raiders. Therefore, the returning tight ends include Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz.

In 16 games played, Schultz had one reception, two targets, and six receiving yards on the SEASON last year. Enough said.

Meanwhile, Jarwin had 31 receptions, 41/597 targets (6.9%), 365 yards, and three touchdowns. With Jason Witten gone, the Oklahoma State product is now the TE1, but it’s still hard to trust him considering his lackluster usage.

Remember, Witten retired briefly in 2018 and Jarwin was the TE1 on that team, but only compiled similar stats to 2019, which includes 27 receptions, 36/527 targets (6.8%), 307 yards, and three touchdowns.

2020 could be considered a “deja-vu” season for Jarwin as owners have already seen how he fares as the TE1 on the team. There is no reason to draft him in redraft leagues unless your league is very large (16+ teams) or you are simply stashing him as insurance or depth.

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