Defensive Coordinator: Monte Kiffin
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Fantasy Football Outlook: I’m sure Cowboy fans can remember when the last time was that this team ran a 4-3 base defense but I can’t. I’m also not sure how many players on the roster are actually familiar with Monte Kiffin’s Tampa-2 defensive scheme but here we are and one has to expect a season of adjustment for this squad.
Like many years in the past, the Cowboys have enough talent to be a waiver wire option when they play attractive matchups outside of their division. That said, they are in one of the wildest divisions in football and I can’t imagine we will see them play shutdown defense in 2013 against Robert Griffin, Eli Manning and Chip Kelly’s new look offensive out in Philadelphia.
For a team that is in a “win now window” I’m disappointing they’ve chosen to go against a 3-4 base asking lone time outside linebackers DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer to put a hand on the ground and be undersized (against the run) edge defenders.
Stay away from Dallas on draft day, but again, against the right teams they are worth a look off the waiver wire.
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2013 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: ADP's | Rankings | Mocks | Cheat Sheets + Auctions
Summer of 2012: Fantasy Projections
With Rob Ryan calling the plays you know this is going to be a multiple defense that will try to bring pressure from an all over. Problem for Ryan last year was manly the Cowboys didn’t have a good secondary and when Sean Lee was out of the game, they suffered badly in the middle with old backups in Bradie James and Keith Brooking.
While I’m still not in love with the safeties, but they did a great job adding Brandon Carr and Morris Claborne in the offseason at corner. Both can play man coverage.
This will be a key factor for the Cowboys if they are going to be a top ten fantasy defense, and a playoff team. Couple in the addition of veteran linebacker Dan Connor to play opposite of Lee, and you have a solid overall linebacking corps.
Current ADP trends have the Cowboys are only the 14th team defense off the board, and I have to believe it’s because of the division they play in. Sure, you may not want to start them against the Eagles and Giants, but if the corners can do a good job of holding their own, and re-routing receivers, it’s going to be a fun year on defense.
Summer of 2011: Fantasy Projections
If the Cowboys are going to be a relevant fantasy defense to draft this summer, they will need to land free agent corner back Nnamdi Asomugha, because their pass defense was atrocious last season. Not only where they ranked 26th in the league against the pass, but they seemed to give up the big plays with ease.This isn’t a great sign for any defense and for fantasy football you want a team that is good with sacks, turnovers and keeps its opponents to under 20 points a game. I’ve found that it’s hard for any group to be great in sacks and turnovers if they are in the mid twenties in points given up, and that is what I project for them, unless they land Asomugha this off-season.
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After DeMarcus Ware left the field on a stretcher against the Chargers, it was easy to see how important he was to this team. The very next week Ware came back and the Cowboys beat the Saints in New Orleans. While the team did get blown out in Minnesota in the second round of the playoffs, they did achieve a great amount in December and January. While the Cowboys’ defense tends to start slow, expect them to come on strong in the second half of the season.
2010 Fantasy Football Outlook
2009 Fantasy Year In Review: It seems the Cowboys defense can’t start a season without a slow start on defense. As the year progressed this group got stronger, and they were just about lights out at times by the final month of the season.
Even though this group didn’t have over 50 sacks like in 2008, they were still a good group to have in your fantasy lineup during the second half of the year.
2010 NFL Fantasy Football Player Rankings: I’m a little concerned about this defense’s health up the middle as nose tackle Jay Ratliff has had surgery on both his elbows and aging middle linebacker Keith Brooking is having knee concerns.
At least the Cowboys addressed their depth behind Brooking at the draft as they selected inside linebacker Sean Lee in the second round.
With DeMarcus Ware still in the prime of his career and a strong secondary the Cowboys are still a top ten fantasy defense coming into the start of the season. Just remember that they can be a little slow at the start of the year and you might need to carry an extra defense to use early on.
- Solid Secondary
- Winning Team
- Health Concerns Up The Middle ( Against The Run)
- Tend To Start Slow