Full 2014 Fantasy Projections for Dallas Cowboys' Offensive Performers
The 2014 NFL season might be a ways away, but fantasy football preparation never stops. For those owners who are preparing to invest in some of Dallas' biggest stars, consider this your Cowboys-specific cheat sheet.
Dallas' offense is full of notable names, and several should be on fantasy owners' radars heading into their 2014 draft. From Tony Romo to Dez Bryant, here is what to expect from Dallas' top offensive talents. We'll also predict who will be the team's top fantasy performer.
The projected stats for this article are based on ESPN's standard scoring settings. The players are ranked in order of total projected points for the 2014 season.
5. Terrance Williams
Terrance Williams lived up to his third-round pick status last season. The Baylor product quickly became a trusted target for Romo, posting 736 yards and five touchdowns. Those numbers are better than the ones that teammate Bryant put up in his rookie year.
Williams is not a receiver that fantasy owners should have as their No. 1 option and probably not their No. 2 option either. Like he will be for the Cowboys, Williams will be a fine slot option in fantasy this year.
Wide receiver is one of the deeper positions, which means Williams can be taken in the later rounds of most drafts. In his first year in the NFL, Dallas No. 83 posted more fantasy points than Dwayne Bowe, Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks.
Williams isn't going to put up Calvin Johnson numbers for his owners, but he's one of the better No. 3 options. He's a name to remember when preparing for draft season.
Projected Stats: 820 yards, five touchdowns, 112 points
4. Jason Witten
Jason Witten didn't have a head-turning season in 2013, but it was still good enough to place him as the fifth-best tight end in fantasy. The veteran recorded 851 receiving yards and eight touchdowns last year.
He has a long history of being one of Romo's favorite targets for short- and medium-range passing plays. He's also a likely target on third down. Even with Williams and Bryant around, Witten is still going to be a focal point of the Dallas passing game.
He isn't going to record double-digit touchdowns and probably won't break 1,000 yards receiving this year. That being said, he'll get close to both marks and is one of the safest picks an owner can make come draft time.
Projected Stats: 850 yards, seven touchdowns, 133 fantasy points
3. DeMarco Murray
DeMarco Murray put together the best season of his career in 2013 and, more importantly, only missed two games due to injury. The four-year veteran has never stayed healthy for a full season just yet, but last season he showed just what a force he can be on the gridiron.
He posted 1,121 yards and nine touchdowns on 217 carries, career highs in each category. The upside with Murray is clear, but so are his drawbacks. The health is an obvious red flag for prospective fantasy owners, as is the pass-happy offense he is a part of.
Dallas threw the ball almost 600 times last season and brought in Scott Linehan from Detroit to be the team's passing game coordinator. The Cowboys are still very much a pass-first team, but then again, so are most teams in the league nowadays.
Murray's drawbacks are obvious ones, but owners would be wise to gamble on him this season. He was the No. 9-ranked running back in ESPN leagues by the end of 2013. There's no reason that the Oklahoma product can't finish around that same spot next season. Due to his injury history though, it would be wise to invest in a quality backup for Murray.
Projected Stats: 1,050 yards, 11 touchdowns, 171 fantasy points
2. Dez Bryant
Outside of Romo, Bryant has been the Cowboys' top performer on offense the past two seasons. He has posted more than 2,500 yards and totaled 25 touchdowns over the last two years.
He will easily be one of the first wide receivers to come off the board in many fantasy drafts and rightfully so. He is currently the No. 4 overall receiver in ESPN's top-200 rankings and could climb up that list in the near future.
Bryant has one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the league throwing him the football. Even with options like Williams and Witten, who do eat into his stats, Bryant has proved that he's the focal point of Dallas' passing attack.
With no injuries plaguing him and the Cowboys' offensive situation essentially in the same shape as it was in 2013, Bryant should produce similar numbers to 2012 and 2013. With Miles Austin gone and new rookie guard Zack Martin up front, some could even argue Dallas' offense is in better shape for Bryant owners.
Projected Stats: 1,300 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns, 214 fantasy points
1. Tony Romo
Being the quarterback, Romo tops this list due to his position more than anything. He will put up the most points among Dallas' offensive players in fantasy, but he's not a Tier 1 option at his position.
The Eastern Illinois product will be taken after the Aaron Rodgerses and Tom Bradys, but he's still a solid first option at quarterback.
Romo has thrown for 26 or more touchdowns in every season of his career with the exception of 2010—when he broke his collarbone—and 2006—when he first earned the starting job. Over the last three seasons, he has thrown 80 touchdowns.
There is a lot to like about No. 9. Fantasy owners should not shy away from him as a starting option because of his two recent back surgeries. Romo will be 100 percent by Week 1 and should be a solid Tier 2 option at quarterback, as he has been for the last few seasons.
Projected Stats: 4,450 yards, 30 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 274 fantasy points
All statistics were retrieved from Pro Football Reference.