The Cowboys have no shortage of star power on offense, but what 2020 revealed was that the foundations of the team have gotten awfully shaky. Few teams could survive the loss of their quarterback and much of their offensive line, of course, but this may not be a team that can afford more than a few injuries now. If everything goes right, this should be arguably the best offense in the league.
Record: 6 - 10 (21)
PPG: 24.7 (17)
YPG: 371.8 (14)
Pass YPG: 260.1 (8)
Rush YPG: 111.8 (17)
PAPG: 39.9 (2)
RAPG: 26.9 (15)
2020 Fantasy finishes
Number to know: 5,939
Before his injury, Dak Prescott was on pace for nearly 6,000 passing yards, which would obviously have been an NFL record. There was a lot that went into that pace that probably won't be sustainable -- the Cowboys allowed 36 points per game over their first five and averaged 47.2 pass attempts per game -- but don't make the mistake of thinking this was all a volume thing. Prescott averaged 8.4 yards per attempt and is averaging 8.3 since the start of 2020, when Kellen Moore took over as offensive coordinator. With both Cooper and Lamb going inside the top 15 WR on average, they'll need to continue to call a ton of passes and to continue to move the ball efficiently to justify it. But given the level Prescott has played at over the past two seasons, that's probably not asking too much. He has legitimate QB1 potential, and Cooper, Lamb, and Gallup could all be must-start options.
1. (12) Micah Parsons, LB
2. (44) Kelvin Joseph, CB
3. (75) Osa Odighizuwa, DT
3. (84) Chauncey Golston, DE
3. (99) Nahshon Wright, CB
4. (115) Jabril Cox, LB
4. (138) Josh Ball, OT
5. (179) Simi Fehoko, WR
6. (192) Quinton Bohanna, DT
6. (227) Israel Mukuamu, CB
7. (238) Matt Farniok, G
0 carries, 0 RB targets, 52 WR targets, 15 TE targets
Chris Towers' projections
|QB||Dak Prescott||PA: 614, YD: 4664, TD: 31, INT: 11; RUSH -- ATT: 56, YD: 289, TD: 4|
|RB||Ezekiel Elliott||CAR: 284, YD: 1248, TD: 10; TAR: 68, REC: 51, YD: 305, TD: 3|
|RB||Tony Pollard||CAR: 123, YD: 565, TD: 4; TAR: 37, REC: 28, YD: 221, TD: 2|
|WR||Amari Cooper||TAR: 135, REC: 89, YD: 1203, TD: 7|
|WR||Michael Gallup||TAR: 101, REC: 55, YD: 808, TD: 5|
|WR||CeeDee Lamb||TAR: 132, REC: 86, YD: 1072, TD: 7|
|TE||Blake Jarwin||TAR: 68, REC: 51, YD: 532, TD: 4|
|TE||Dalton Schultz||TAR: 49, REC: 27, YD: 280, TD: 2|
Can Ezekiel Elliott bounce back?
For much of last season, Elliott was a fringe Fantasy starter at best, often looking like the second-best back on his own team. Was it because he's lost a step despite being just 25 last season? I'm willing to bet it's more that the situation around him was rotten and backup Tony Pollard simply had more opportunities to run in advantageous situations. Which is to say, I'm buying Elliott.
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One sleeper, one breakout and one bust
In one of the most hyped offenses in the league, Gallup is the forgotten man. He feels like old news with CeeDee Lamb around, but let's not forget he was an 1,100-yard receiver in just 14 games in 2019 and was on pace for 1,114 yards before Prescott's injury. He's the No. 3 option in the offense, to be sure, but in this offense that could still be enough to make him a viable Fantasy option. Gallup's style of play doesn't lend itself to weekly consistency, but he'll be a great player to have around as a WR5 who you can slide into your lineup when needed. You'll be glad you have him.
Can you call a player with Elliott's track record a "breakout" candidate? You may disagree, but I'm OK with it, especially with Elliott coming off such a disappointing 2020 campaign. He may have finished fairly high in the RB rankings, but he was just 16th in PPR points per game and had more than 15 points just four times in his final 10 games. There were even a lot of "Is Tony Pollard better than Elliott?" discussions happening last season. I think Elliott is going to bounce back in a big way along with the offense. He was stuck in a dreadful situation once Prescott and most of the starting offensive line went down with injuries, and he was dealing with a lingering calf injury that only cost him one week but limited him for longer. I think we're going to get a vintage Elliott season, and there's a non-zero chance he re-emerges as a contender for the No. 1 RB spot -- he was there before Prescott's injury last season, averaging 22.7 points per game over the first five.
I want to be clear so I don't get any angry tweets: I think Lamb is an excellent player. I thought he was the best WR in his draft class, and I think he still may end up the best when it's all said and done. But there's no shortage of hype around him this offseason, and that's always a recipe for disappointment. Lamb is actually going ahead of Cooper in NFC drafts as of mid-June -- not by much, mind you, but it's still happening more often than not. There's so much to like about Lamb, but I'm not ready to say he's a better player than Cooper yet, nor am I ready to say he's going to be the No. 1 option in this offense. I think they'll be very, very close, and either would make for an awesome No. 2 WR on pretty much any Fantasy team. But let's not forget, Lamb was closer to Gallup in targets and production in 2020 than he was to Cooper. He's a player on the upswing -- a future superstar -- but the price you'll have to pay to have Lamb on your team may not be quite worth it.
So which sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen's huge season, and find out.