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42 Keanu Neal LB

Dallas Cowboys

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May 3, 2021 05:20 PM
Cowboys' Keanu Neal: Officially moves to linebacker
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn announced Monday that Neal will play linebacker with the Cowboys, Zach Klein of WSB TV reports.

Neal is already listed as a linebacker on Dallas' official depth chart, confirming that he has a new primary position. The switch is a considerable blow to Neal's fantasy value in IDP formats, given the difference in positional scarcity between safeties and linebackers capable of racking up high tackle totals. It's possible that Neal's significant injury history, including a torn ACL in 2018 and a torn Achilles in 2019, have deprived him of the speed necessary to excel in the secondary.

March 22, 2021 02:56 PM
Cowboys' Keanu Neal: Will play safety, linebacker
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

The Cowboys intend to deploy Neal at both safety and linebacker, Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Neal's decision to sign a one-year, $5 million deal with the Cowboys allows him to reunite with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. During their time together in Atlanta, Quinn occasionally utilized Neal in specialized packages, but it looks like the 25-year-old will see more consistent action at weak-side linebacker in Dallas. A positional switch away from safety would significantly lessen Neal's value in IDP formats, especially in dynasty leagues. On the other hand, Neal's value could get a slight bump if the Cowboys officially keep him at safety while simply deploying him at LB with some regularity.

March 22, 2021 11:12 AM
Cowboys' Keanu Neal: Moving to linebacker
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal is expected to move to weakside linebacker with the Cowboys, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

The hard-hitting former safety recently signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Cowboys, joining a team that already has a pair of three-down linebackers in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch (ankle). It's an odd fit at first glance, but there are a few different ways the Cowboys can make it work, including using Smith as a part-time edge rusher. Neal reached 100 tackles in each of his three healthy seasons with the Falcons, so it's hard to imagine a position switch benefiting his IDP value in the long run, though he could get a short-term boost if he adds dual-position eligibility.

March 20, 2021 08:40 PM
Cowboys' Keanu Neal: Nets deal with Dallas
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Cowboys on Saturday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

The move means Neal reunites with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. The Cowboys are evidently still in the market for additional help at safety, though the 25-year-old will certainly be a welcome boost. The 2016 first-round pick by the Falcons rebounded from consecutive season-ending neck injuries to record 100 tackles, one forced fumble and one interception in 15 games last season.

January 7, 2021 12:00 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Notches seven stops in finale
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal, who registered seven tackles (four solo) during Sunday's 44-27 loss to the Buccaneers, closed out the 2020 campaign with 100 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two pass deflections, a fumble recovery, an interception and a sack over 15 games.

Having suffered a torn ACL in September 2018 and subsequently a torn Achilles in September 2019, Neal had missed 28 of the Falcons' past 32 games entering this season. The 25-year-old enjoyed better fortune with just one game absence during 2020, sitting out a Week 4 loss to the Packers because of a hamstring injury. He posted 100-plus tackles for the third time in five pro campaigns in 2020, proving once again that he is a defensive force when capable of staying on the field. Having just played out the fifth-year option from his rookie contract, Neal is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March.

December 25, 2020 01:24 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Ready for Week 16
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (ankle) does not appear on the injury report ahead of Sunday's game against the Chiefs.

Even though Neal was listed as a limited participant in each practice the Falcons held this week due to an ankle issue, he's not in danger of sitting out this weekend's game.

December 23, 2020 04:20 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Nursing hamstring issue
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (hamstring) was limited in Wednesday's practice, Will McFadden reports.

Neal will have two more opportunities to increase his practice reps ahead of Sunday's road game against the Chiefs. As long as he's able to continue handling at least limited activity, the standout safety should have a good shot at taking the field.

December 23, 2020 10:32 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Racks up seven tackles
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal notched seven tackles, including one tackle for loss, during Sunday's 31-27 loss to Tampa Bay.

Neal's 88 tackles stand behind only Foyesade Oluokun (104) and Deion Jones (94) among Falcons defenders this season, but the 2017 Pro Bowler remains with just one takeaway over his past 17 game appearances. The 25-year-old accumulated a gaudy eight forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception over his first two years in the NFL, but he possesses no INTs, no forced fumbles and only one recovery in 13 games this season.

December 9, 2020 07:08 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Managing practice reps
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (ankle) was a limited participant during Wednesday's practice, Will McFadden of the team's official site reports.

Neal has been a driving force in the secondary for the Falcons this season, including playing 90 percent of defensive snaps in last week's loss to the Saints. It's too early to panic over his chances to play in Week 14 against the Chargers, but he'll likely need to continue posting at least limited practice. If Neal were to suffer a setback, Jaylinn Hawkins would be the likely candidate to take over as the team's strong safety.

November 24, 2020 12:24 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Leads squad with eight tackles
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal finished with eight tackles (seven solo) in Sunday's loss to the Saints.

Neal was on the field for 67 plays in Week 11, resulting in a team-high eight tackles, his best mark since Week 7 against Detroit. Through nine contests in 2020, he's tallied 65 tackles (49 solo), one sack and one pass defensed.

October 31, 2020 01:28 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Another team-leading tackle count
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal registered seven total tackles and a pass deflection during Thursday's 25-17 win against the Panthers.

Neal is playing some of the best football of his career, as he has recorded a Pro Football Focus grade of 75 or better in back-to-back games for the first time since he joined the NFL in 2016. The Florida standout has paced the team in tackles for three consecutive weeks, and most paramount, he's staying healthy. Neal missed a combined 28 games between 2018 and 2019 because of a torn ACL and a torn Achilles suffered in consecutive Septembers, but he's suited up for seven of the Falcons' eight contests this year while fielding an average of 57.9 defensive snaps per game.

October 26, 2020 02:12 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Gaudy stat line in Week 7 loss
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal tallied 11 tackles, including two tackles for loss and one sack during Sunday's 23-22 loss to the Lions.

The 2017 Pro Bowler may have been Atlanta's defensive MVP in a losing effort, as he paced the team in both tackles and tackles for loss while collecting one of the Falcons' two sacks of Matthew Stafford. Though Neal has continued to demonstrate his characteristic hard-hitting style, his effectiveness in coverage has been clearly lacking. Thus far in 2020, opponents are completing 90 percent of their passes when targeting Neal in coverage, throwing to an astronomical 13.8 yards-per-completion clip on those plays.

October 16, 2020 03:44 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Sheds injury tag
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (hamstring) does not carry an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Vikings.

Neal put together three limited practice sessions this week, but it doesn't look like his availability was ever in serious question. The 25-year-old will draw his usual start at strong safety in Minnesota.

October 14, 2020 05:56 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Still bothered by hamstring
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (hamstring) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Neal missed the Week 4 matchup against the Packers due to this hamstring injury but was able to shake it off and play Week 5 against the Panthers. The 25-year-old safety handled a full workload and recorded seven tackles, but he's back on the injury report Wednesday. This could be a lingering issue this season, but as long as he can stay on the field all week, Neal has a good shot at playing this Sunday against the Vikings.

October 10, 2020 12:08 AM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Ready to retake field
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (hamstring) does not carry an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Panthers, Vaughn McClure of reports.

Neal's hamstring injury forced him to miss a single contest (Monday's loss to the Packers), but the starting safety will now return to Atlanta's secondary in time to face Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers. Fellow starting safety Ricardo Allen (elbow) will also retake the field, setting the stage for Atlanta's secondary to potentially log a much-needed bounceback performance.

October 7, 2020 04:40 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Starts week with limited practice
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (hamstring) was limited in Wednesday's practice, Will McFadden of the Falcons' official site reports.

Neal is among a multitude of injured Falcons -- the team had seven limited participants and two non-participants Wednesday. He was unable to suit up in Week 4 after failing to practice all week, so practicing on a limited basis is a step in the right direction for Neal. The safety's practice participation as the week unfolds should help determine his status for Sunday's game against the Panthers.

October 3, 2020 06:20 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Ruled out for MNF
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (hamstring) has been ruled out for Monday's game versus the Packers, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Neal has dealt with a plenty of injuries during his NFL career, as he played just four games between the 2018 and 2019 seasons. After watching practice from the sidelines all week, he'll predictably sit out Monday and look to get healthy for a divisional clash against the Panthers in Week 5. With Ricardo Allen (elbow) also out, expect rookie Jaylinn Hawkins and Sharrod Neasman to both see upticks in usage Monday.

October 2, 2020 09:52 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Misses another practice
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (hamstring) sat out for a second consecutive practice session Friday, Jason Butt of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Neal is tied with Deion Jones for a team-high 22 tackles through the first three weeks of the season, but the former Pro Bowler may now be facing his 29th missed game since the start of 2018. Having popped up on the injury report after fielding 83 percent of the defensive workload during a Week 3 loss to Chicago, Neal's potential absence would leave rookie Jaylinn Hawkins in line for increased reps at strong safety. There is still time, however, for Neal to make a practice appearance Saturday, with the Falcons not kicking off until Monday night against the Packers.

October 1, 2020 07:20 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Nursing hamstring injury
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Will McFadden of the team's official site reports.

Neal is coming off back-to-back games with eight tackles, despite only having played roughly 80 percent of defensive snaps this season. The star safety will still have two more chances to up his level or practice activity ahead of Monday's game against the Packers.

September 29, 2020 04:28 PM
Falcons' Keanu Neal: Nose for football evident
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Neal collected eight tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, during Sunday's 30-26 loss to the Bears.

By tying Mykal Walker with a Falcons-high eight tackles Week 3, Neal has now been atop the team box score in that category for back-to-back games. That's an encouraging sign, given that Neal was only able to suit up for a combined four games between 2018 and 2019 due to ACL and Achilles injuries. If Neal is back at full speed and playing with no hesitation, that is a boost for an otherwise struggling Falcons secondary that ranks 31st against the pass through three weeks.

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Groveland, FL
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