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Week 14 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: DeMarco Murray, 3 Other Dallas Cowboys to Start

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIDecember 6, 2011

Week 14 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: DeMarco Murray, 3 Other Dallas Cowboys to Start

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    DeMarco Murray had a rough day for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday when the Cowboys lost 19-13 in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals.  Murray managed only 38 yards on 12 carries.

    His string of big rushing games seem long gone.

    However, Murray could be on the upswing this week.  He and the Cowboys face a soft New York Giants defense.

    A certain Cowboys teammate of Murray could be on the rebound against the Giants, too.  That teammate—to be named in a later slide—nearly won the game on Sunday for the Cowboys, but was denied by his own head coach, Jason Garrett, at the end of regulation.

    Anyway, following are a few Cowboys whom fantasy owners should start this week.

DeMarco Murray

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    Defenses have had their fill with Murray lately.

    Partly, that was due to the absence of his lead blocker, fullback Tony Fiametta.  Fiametta had missed the last three games with an unknown illness (and whether the illness is linked to a concussion is also unknown).  Without Fiametta, Murray averaged 66 yards per game and 3.4 yards per carry in those games.

    Generally, the difference between the Cowboys running game with and without Fiametta is night and day.  In the six games with him, the Cowboys average 145.8 yards rushing per game.  Without him, they average 83.8 yards rushing per game in six games.

    Murray has reason to rejoice with the expected return of Fiametta.  Fiametta told reporters on Monday that doctors cleared him to practice on Wednesday and play on Sunday.  Fiametta seemed itching to return.

    "It's going to be a good time to come back," he said, "big game, and I want to make a difference."

    In addition to having Fiametta back blocking for him, Murray will be facing an easy Giants run defense.  The Giants allow 127 yards per game rushing, 23rd in the NFL.  Also, the Giants are No. 28 in rushing touchdowns allowed (13).

    Murray could find his way back into the end zone for the first time since Week 10.  He's a keen start for fantasy owners.

Tony Romo

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    Anyone who isn't on the Tony Romo train should consider climbing aboard.  Romo threw for 299 yards on 28-of-42 passing, adding a touchdown, in the loss to the Cardinals.

    His blown games seem like a long time ago.  He's fourth in passer rating (97.4) and seventh in passing yards per game (277.1).

    On Sunday, he'll go against a Giants pass defense that's No. 29 in the NFL, allowing 260.3 yards passing per game.  In the last two weeks, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers tore up the Giants defense for 363 and 369 yards, respectively.

    Romo can't do much worse than Brees and Rodgers did against the Giants.

    Fantasy owners should definitely tab Romo to start this week.

Dez Bryant

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    Dez Bryant was on the move against the Cardinals.  He had his highest receptions mark of the season, eight, along with his second highest amount of receiving yards, 86.  Also, he took his third touchdown catch in four games.

    Look for him to break into the end zone again on Sunday.

    This will be another good game for Bryant.  He seemed to have earned the attention from Romo on Sunday.  Against the Giants, he and Romo will likely connect frequently again.

    Thus, Bryant is a good option to start.

Dan Bailey

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    Dan Bailey had a rough day against the Cardinals.  He was only 2-of-4 on field-goal attempts.  His shot at a game-winner at the end of regulation was blown dead by a timeout by Garrett.

    Such was the luck for the rookie kicker out of Oklahoma State.  Maybe he was miffed that his previous Cowboys team would likely miss out on the BCS Championship Game.

    Anyway, Bailey should be on once again.  He's still No. 2 in kicking points (115) and field goals made (29).  Bailey will be automatic again this week.  Good kickers don't fall off for long.

    Fantasy owners shouldn't buckle after Bailey's most recent performance.  He's still a good man to start.

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