Dallas Cowboys Team Outlook
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Cowboys Offense Outlook
Dallas would like to run the ball as much as possible while having success with rushing TDs in the red zone. A healthy offensive line and a stronger defense should ensure a balanced attack in 2019. Last year the Cowboys ran the ball 45.4 percent of the time.
Over three seasons as the starting QB for the Cowboys, Prescott has a 32-16 record with two playoff appearance. In 2018, Dak set a career high in completions (356), pass attempts (526), and passing yards (3,885) with a rebound in his completion rate (67.7). His passing TDs have been in a tight range (23, 22, and 22) in his career while doing an excellent job minimizing the damage in Ints (25 over 48 career starts). His success last year was surprising considering the regression of his offensive line (56 sacks). Daz has six rushing TDs in each season in the league while upside his rushing chances to 75 in 2018. He passed for over 300 yards in two games (455/3 and 387/4), which came over the final four games of the season.
In 2019, Prescott will have a full season with the rising Amari Cooper plus Ezekiel Elliott emerged as a real threat in the passing game. When adding a developing Michael Gallup and a veteran Randall Cobb, Dak should push his way to 4,500 combined yards with his first season with more than 30+ combined TDs.
(From Twitter: After starting 3-4, the Cowboys traded for Amari Cooper and finished 7-2 to advance to the Playoffs. Amari’s presence allowed Dak to target more open receivers and improve his efficiency. How will a full season together impact the Cowboys?)
Other Options: Cooper Rush, Mike White
In two of his three years in the NFL, Elliot led the NFL in rushing yards (1,631 and 1,434) while playing 15 games in both seasons. At the same time, he had the most rushing attempts (322 and 304) while also leading the NFL in rushing yards per game in 2016 (108.7), 2017 (98.3), and 2018 (95.6). His stats in 2017 were cut short by a six-game suspension. Last year the Cowboys figured out how to get Ezekiel involved in the passing game. He set career highs in catches (77), receiving yard (567), receiving TDs (3), and targets (95).
Over his 17 games played (including the playoffs), Elliott had eight games with over 100 yards rushing and four other contest with over 100 combined yards. His only area where he failed to reach expectations was TDs (9). This year his offensive line should be back to full strength after playing without their Pro Bowl center for the whole 2018 season. I expect growth in the Cowboys’ offense where one TD per game is reasonable even with Dak Prescott vulturing some TDs.
Ezekiel will be drafted a top three player in 2019 with his next step being 2,300 combined yards with 80+ catches and about 15 TDs. High floor player who offers consistency and explosiveness.
Other Options: Darius Jackson, Jordan Chunn
2018 was a tale of two different seasons for Cooper. Early in his career, Amari projected as an elite WR after being drafted in the first round in 2015 supported by two active years (72/1070/6 and 83/1153/5). He lost his way for the Raiders in 2017 (48/680/7) when he saw his catch rate fall to 50 percent. Oakland struggled to get him the ball again last season, which led to a trade to Dallas after poor stats over the first six games (22/280/1).
Cooper flashed in Week 2 (10/116) and Week 4 (8/128/1) with the Raiders, but his other four contests (1/9, 2/17, 1/10, and 1/0) infuriated Fantasy owners. With the Cowboys, Amari showed his upside and explosiveness in two games (8/180/2 and 10/10/217/3). Over six other games for Dallas, he had four other disappointing games (3/36, 4/32, 4/20, and 5/31) with two of those weeks coming when Fantasy championships were on the line.
Cooper did show up in the NFL playoffs (7/106 and 6/65/1). Game flow is going to be a big key in his week-to-week value for the Cowboys while also needing Dak Prescott to develop into a better passer beyond the first 20 yards past the line of scrimmage. Cooper is a beast who is still disliked by many Fantasy owners due to his lack of consistency. At age 25 with a full season in Dallas, I expect him to push his way to 90+ catches for 1,300+ yards and score double-digit TDs. I would much rather own him as a WR2 until he shows he can be trusted for a high percentage of games during the year.
In his rookie season, Gallup failed to live up to expectations in the Fantasy market. He caught only 48.5 percent of his 68 targets with 33 catches for 507 yards and two TDs. The Cowboys gave him eight starts. His highlight game came in the second round of the playoffs (6/119). During the regular season, Michael only had three playable games (3/81/1, 5/76, and 3/53/1). I expect growth in his second season, but his opportunity won’t be high enough to be trusted a starting WR in PPR leagues. Possible push to 50+ catches for 750+ yards and low value in TDs.
Over two seasons at Colorado State, Gallup caught 176 passes for 2,690 yards and 21 TDs. He looked more explosive in 2016 when Michael gained 16.7 yards per catch with 14 TDs, but he did set a career high in catches (100) and yards (1,418) last year. Gallup needs to get stronger to help his release in press coverage. His speed (4.51) and quickness can’t match the best WRs in the NFL, but he has the mid-range gear to beat a defender to the ball while offering good hands. Michael has a knack for breaking tackles with open field moves to beat a defense for a long TD on a short pass. His biggest challenge will be defeating better cornerbacks and handling the tough throws over the middle of the field.
Other Options: Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Noah Brown, Cedrick Wilson, Lance Lenoir, Devin Smith
Based on name value, Witten will draw some Fantasy interest in 2019. At age 37 with a year removed from football, his bar will be lowered tremendously in 2019. Dallas projects him as a part-time player this year, which they stated when they resigned him in February. Ideally, they would like to use him on about 45 percent of their plays. I expect him to be on the field on passing downs where he’ll continue to be a dump off option. Jason has never caught fewer than 63 passes in his career. I’m going to set his bar at about three catches per game for 450 yards with less than five TDs.
Other than one game (7/119/3) in 2018, Jarwin struggled to make an impact in his second year in the NFL. He finished with 27 catches for 307 yards and three TDs on 36 targets with only one other playable game (7/56). Over three seasons at Oklahoma State, he caught only 41 passes for 616 yards and five TDs. His one great gives him room for improvement, but Dallas is going to rotate in multiple TEs this season.
Other Options: Dalton Schultz, Rico Gathers, Codey McElroy
In his first season in the NFL, Maher finished as the 9th highest scoring kicker. He made 29 of his 36 field goal attempts with a high-level of success from 50 yards or longer (6-for-7). Brett missed one of his 33 extra point tries. Dallas will run the ball well with success in the red zone. Their field goal chances were high last year, which was helped by some injuries on the offensive line. This season the Cowboys’ offense should score more TDs as the expense of some of their field goal chances. Maher made his living in his early career in the Canadian Football League. Viable top ten kicking option helped by his ability to make long kicks.
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