Dallas Cowboys, Def, Cowboys
|Def - #27||231.26||DAL||Active||0' 0||0|
2016 Outlook: Deep-league OnlyLast updated on Jun-11-2016 by Shawn Childs
The Cowboys finished 22nd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (1934) with 16 rushing TDs. Ball carriers gained 4.2 yards per rush, which was about the league average. Some of their downside against the run was created by game score as opposing team's average 28.8 rushes per game.
Dallas ranked 5th in NFL in passing yards allowed (3532) with 19 TDs and only eight Ints. They sacked the QB 31 times. As great as their success may look on paper, the Cowboys did allow 7.6 yards per attempt which was the 10th highest total in the league.
Their best player on the Cowboys' defense in 2015 was LB Sean Lee, who offered upside in pass coverage with success against the run. Lee has minimal value rushing the QB (2.5 sacks). LB Rolando McClain graded as below the requirements needed for a starting player at his position as a result of his weakness against the run. LB Anthony Hitchens had risk as well against the run while falling short in his responsibilities in pass coverage.
DE DeMarcus Lawrence is expected to miss the first four games of the season due to failing a drug test. Lawrence was the Cowboys' best defensive linemen in 2015 with success against the run with eight sacks. DE Randy Gregory will face the same fate as DeMarcus as a result of his violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. Gregory was a backup player with limited upside in 2015. DT Cedric Thornton played well against the run with no upside rushing the QB. DT Tyrone Crawford had shoulder surgery in the offseason. Dallas may move him to defensive end earlier in the season with Lawrence out of the lineup. His game doesn't offer an edge in any area at this point in his career. DE Benson Mayowa looks to be a negative asset.
S Byron Jones lived up to expectations after Dallas selected him the first round in the 2015 NFL Draft. His best success came in pass coverage while still needing to upgrade his value in run support. S Barry Church was very good against the run with risk in coverage. CB Orlando Scandrick played at a high level in 2014, but he missed all of the 2015 season due to a torn ACL in his right knee. Orlando will have almost a full season to recover, which puts him on track to be 100 percent healthy when the season starts. Both of the other options to start at the other CB position (Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne) have high risk in the passing game.
This defense is loaded with risk while possibly having four players with upside. I don't expect the Cowboys' defense to have any Fantasy value. Their lack of success should be a positive their offensive players. This season incoming rookie class will need to hit the ground running for Dallas to make a run at the playoffs.
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