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Cowboys Def/Spec Team | Team

Team: Dallas Cowboys

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The Dallas defense will focus on stopping Carolina QB Cam Newton in Week 12, who is coming off a career-high five touchdown performance.
Newton has thrown 11 touchdowns to just two interceptions in Carolina's last four games, and has been dubbed the biggest key for Dallas in Week 12 by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "It’ll be an extreme challenge, he’s having a fantastic year and we have to find a way to keep him down," said Dallas linebacker Sean Lee about the idea of stopping Newton. The Cowboys D/ST will be a lower-tier fantasy option this week against the undefeated Panthers, who are averaging 34.3 points over the last four weeks. Nov 26 - 2:52 AM

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The Dallas defense failed to force a turnover in Week 9 and is last among NFL defenses with just four forced turnovers in 2015.

The Cowboys D/ST has yet to make a fantasy impact this season due to the inability to create takeaways. The Dallas defense is aware of the issue and is hoping to turn their fortunes around this week at Tampa Bay. "Honestly, what needs to happen with this defense, is we need to have our playmakers, including myself, make more plays," said defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford. The Cowboys D/ST won’t be a recommended fantasy option in Week 10 on the road against Tampa Bay.
Nov 15 - 1:45 AM

The Dallas defense is last in the NFL in forcing turnovers, severely limiting the upside of the Cowboys D/ST.

Dallas defenders are aware of the turnover troubles, with safety Barry Church telling the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "I know one of the biggest things last year was we had was more strip attempts [on the ball] than we do this year. I know that figure is down. And I know last year we were better at everybody tackling together. It was not just one guy." The Dallas defense will have a shot to change their fortunes in Week 9 against Philadelphia QB Sam Bradford, who has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in 2015. The Cowboys D/ST is a borderline startable unit in Week 9.
Nov 7 - 10:19 AM

The Dallas defense has allowed 100 or more rushing yards in each of their last four games, all losses.

This is not a good trend for Dallas, who is facing the NFL's second-best rushing attack on Sunday in the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboy's D/ST will likely have trouble stopping the running attacks of Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson, making the group a dicey fantasy option this week despite Seattle's struggles in pass protection.
Oct 30 - 2:13 AM

The defense of the Dallas Cowboys has forced just three turnovers in 2015, and zero over their last three games.

The three forced turnovers tied Dallas for the worst mark among NFL teams through six weeks. Coach Jason Garrett referenced the turnover struggles this week saying, "It's been a significant factor in our season up to this point. We were one of the best teams in the league at it last year...and it's not to say we don't have opportunities." The Dallas D/ST will not be a viable fantasy option in Week 7 as they travel to New York to take on Eli Manning and the Giants.
Oct 24 - 2:16 AM

The Dallas Cowboys roll into their Week 6 bye with just three forced turnovers this season, good for 29th among NFL teams.

The Cowboys have not forced a single turnover in four of five games in 2015, and haven't recorded an interception or fumble recovery since Week 2. DC Rod Marinelli's defense will have the bye week to work on improving their defensive output, but the Cowboys D/ST won't be a fantasy factor on the road against the New York Giants in Week 7.
Oct 15 - 4:53 AM

The Dallas Cowboys will host the New England Patriots in Week 5, who lead the NFL in yards per game (446.3) and points per game (39.7).

The matchup makes the Dallas D/ST impossible to start this week in fantasy leagues, even at home. New England hung 51 points on Jacksonville prior to their Week 4 bye, and will now be well rested before traveling to AT&T Stadium to take on the Cowboys. Leave the Dallas D/ST nestled safely on the waiver wire this week.
Oct 8 - 6:46 PM

The Dallas Cowboys' run defense will attempt to bounce back against New Orleans after getting shredded by Devonta Freeman in Week 3.

Freeman torched the Cowboys for 141 yards on 30 carries last week and also added 52 yards on five catches. While the offense of New Orleans hasn't been very effective in 2015, they will get Drew Brees back in Week 4 and have multiple running backs who are capable of giving the Dallas defense problems. The Cowboys D/ST will not be a recommended fantasy options this week on the road.
Oct 3 - 10:00 PM

The Dallas defense has only three healthy defensive ends as they prepare to host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3.

The latest blow to the edge rushers of the Cowboys was DE Jeremy Mincey being declared out for Week 3 with a concussion. With Greg Hardy (suspension) and Randy Gregory (ankle) already out, Dallas will need to get creative to bring pressure against Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan. Dallas has just two sacks through two weeks and will now need to make adjustments in order to contain Ryan, who has thrown for 330.5 yards per game so far in 2015. The Dallas defense will be a bottom-tier Week 3 option in fantasy leagues.
Sep 26 - 2:50 PM

The Dallas Cowboys will be without rookie DE Randy Gregory in Week 2, after he suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Dallas season opener.

With fellow DE Greg Hardy not eligible to return until Week 5, the Cowboys will miss their rookie pass rusher while he nurses his injured ankle. Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News even suggested that the absence of Gregory could be equally as critical for Dallas as the absence of Dez Bryant. With or without Gregory, the Dallas Cowboys D/ST was likely not going to be a Week 2 fantasy option as they face Philadelphia on the road.
Sep 19 - 2:58 AM

Dallas defensive end Greg Hardy will take his four-game suspension without an appeal.

The Dallas defense will welcome the return of Hardy in Week 5 when they host the New England Patriots at AT&T Stadium. Hardy will provide a boost to the Dallas defensive front, but unfortunately won't be able to help the issues in the Dallas secondary. The Dallas D/ST is an unstartable fantasy option in Week 1 as they face the New York Giants.
Sep 11 - 4:00 AM

Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News believes the difficult cut decisions among Dallas defensive linemen bodes well for the unit's 2015 outlook.

The Cowboys defensive line does possess some play-making ability, but the anticipated struggle of the Dallas secondary is the main concern for this defense after the loss of DB Orlando Scandrick to a season-ending knee injury. The Cowboys D/ST faces a tough test against OC Ben McAdoo's New York Giants offense in Week 1 and should be avoided for fantasy purposes.
Sep 5 - 1:55 AM

Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News thinks DL Tyrone Crawford "has just scratched the surface."

Machota also noted that the "staff raves about his upside" when speaking of the fourth-year player. The Dallas coaching staff will hope to see some improvement from their pass rush, which registered just 28 sacks in 2014, good for 28th in the NFL. The Cowboys D/ST is not on the fantasy draft radar and will be a group to avoid in Week 1 as they face the New York Giants in a game with an over/under hovering above 50.
Aug 29 - 10:50 AM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
QB1Tony Romo
2Matt Cassel
RB1Darren McFadden
2Robert Turbin
3Rod Smith
GLB1Darren McFadden
2Robert Turbin
3RB1Darren McFadden
2Robert Turbin
FB1Tyler Clutts
WR11Dez Bryant
2Cole Beasley
3Devin Street
WR21Terrance Williams
2Lucky Whitehead
3Brice Butler
WR31Cole Beasley
TE1Jason Witten
2Gavin Escobar
3James Hanna
4Geoff Swaim
LT1Tyron Smith
2Charles Brown
LG1La'El Collins
2Ronald Leary
C1Travis Frederick
2Mackenzy Bernadeau
RG1Zack Martin
RT1Doug Free
K1Dan Bailey