Shark Bites

The Cowboys and TE Jason Witten have agreed to a 4-year contract extension, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. It tacks on to the final year of his current deal to lock Witten up through the 2021 season. He'll be 39 at that point, so we doubt he makes it through the life of this contract. But it at least confirms that Witten remains a significant part of Dallas' offense. He ranked 11th among TEs in PPR points last year -- and that was his worst finish since his 2003 rookie campaign.

The Cowboys have re-signed RB Darren McFadden to a 1-year deal. A fractured elbow limited him to just 3 games last year, but it looks like he'll get another shot at Dallas' backup job. The Cowboys are reportedly looking to trade RB Alfred Morris. While McFadden is no threat to Ezekiel Elliott's workhorse role and won't be a standalone fantasy option, he'll be 1 of the highest-upside handcuffs in 2017 fantasy drafts.

ESPN's Todd Archer reports that the Cowboys have agreed to a 4-year deal with WR Terrance Williams. The deal is worth $17 million, including $9.5 million guaranteed. It's a somewhat surprising move considering Williams ranked just 4th on the team in targets last year and posted meager numbers with Dez Bryant out for much of the previous season. Williams has yet to develop beyond deep-threat status and has showed fantasy football owners that we shouldn't bet on regular production. Combine that with Dallas' run-heavy ways, and you get a player not worth much fantasy attention.

The Cowboys defense will have some prominent players back in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Packers. CB Morris Claiborne will return from a groin injury that cost him the season's final 9 games. That figures to mean some rust but also returns arguably the secondary's best cover man. DE Demarcus Lawrence will also return after missing the final 3 games with a back injury. DT Tyrone Crawford returns as well, after missing the final 2 games with a left shoulder injury. And DT Terrell McClain sat out the final game with an ankle injury. All 4 players help a Dallas defense that's about to run into probably the league's hottest QB. However, we're not sure the returns significantly alter the fantasy outlooks for the team D or any particular Packers.

Cowboys OLB Sean Lee (knee) is active for today's game against the Eagles. We're certainly expecting him to start, which would mark the 1st time he has started all 16 games in a season. But we'll also be shocked if he plays anything close to a full game in the meaningless finale. Dallas' playoff situation makes Lee a high-risk play in your IDP lineup.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott isn't expected to play more than 1-2 series in Sunday's finale against the Eagles, according to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio. It's a smart move for a team with nothing to gain. Elliott only figures to see a handful of carries, making him a weak fantasy play. It's unclear exactly how the backfield touches will be divvied between Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar after Elliott exits.

Cowboys RB Darren McFadden will get "most of the reps" in Sunday's finale against the Eagles. Dallas has nothing to gain in that one and no reason to risk injury to RB Ezekiel Elliott. We're not expecting anything more than 10 touches for Zeke, making him a low-end fantasy option. McFadden could get 15+ totes in what figures to be a run-heavy game for the 'Boys.

Cowboys S Barry Church (forearm) and OLB Sean Lee (knee) are active for Monday night's game against the Lions. Each guy entered day questionable. We'll see how much Dallas elects to play either starter -- and plenty others -- as the team plays the 1st of 2 games after locking down the NFC's top seed.

Cowboys HC Jason Garrett confirmed to ESPN's Ed Werder that he won't rest starters in tonight's game against the Lions. Dallas has clinched the NFC's #1 seed and could limit or hold out some guys in the regular-season finale. But doing so tonight would mean 3 weeks off between games. QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten are all safe to use in Week 16 fantasy lineups.

Cowboys S Barry Church (forearm) and LB Sean Lee (knee) are active for Sunday night's game against the Buccaneers. Both entered the day questionable but are ready for normal use in your IDP lineups.

Darren McFadden will be the Cowboys' #2 RB against the Bucs tonight, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. RB Alfred Morris might be inactive, with RB Lance Dunbar remaining in a pass-catching role. McFadden has been out since fracturing his elbow in June, but Morris has mustered just 3.8 yards per carry. McFadden is no threat to Ezekiel Elliott's workhorse role, but he's the handcuff to own now.

Cowboys LB Sean Lee (knee) and S Barry Church (forearm) are questionable for Sunday night's game against the Buccaneers. Church has been playing through the issue since his return to the lineup, though. And Lee's not a good bet to sit out unless he absolutely needs to. Dallas has already ruled DE Demarcus Lawrence (back) out for the game.

The Cowboys have activated RB Darren McFadden. He's been out since fracturing his elbow in June. We'll see where he fits into a backfield dominated by Ezekiel Elliott that also includes Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar. We wouldn't bother with McFadden on the waiver wire this week.

Cowboys WR Cole Beasley drew his largest target total in 4 games in Sunday night's loss to the Giants. Beasley's 7 looks tied Jason Witten for 2nd on the team, as did his 4 receptions. The game marked the 8th time in 9 weeks that he has caught 4+ balls and 9th time through 12 games.

Cowboys TE Jason Witten drew 7 targets in Sunday night's loss to the Giants, tying for 2nd on the team. He caught 4 for a nondescript 26 yards, but the 7 looks marked a rebound rom 3 and 0 in his past 2 outings. Witten remains a low-ceiling fantasy option and gets a tougher draw in Week 15 with the Bucs, who entered Sunday ranked 6th in Football Outsiders' TE coverage ratings. After that, however, comes #29 Detroit.

Cowboys WR Terrance Williams started the scoring Sunday night with a 31-yard TD off play action. He went on to lead the team in receptions (5) and yards (76), while the TD stood as Dallas' only of the night. Williams' 6 targets doubled any other game since Week 8. Williams hadn't caught more than 2 passes in a game since Week 6. The Giants contest isn't enough to bring him back to fantasy relevance.

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant caught just 1 of 9 targets in Sunday night's loss to the Giants ... and then fumbled it. Bryant dealt with strong coverage from CB Janoris Jenkins most of the night in a matchup that has proved difficult for WRs most of the year. Things should get a little better vs. the Bucs and Lions the next 2 weeks.

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott completed just 17 of 37 passes in Sunday night's loss to the Giants, compiling 165 yards, 1 TD and 2 INTs. Prescott added just 1 yard on his lone rushing attempt and took sacks on 3 of his dropbacks. The game marked Prescott's 3rd straight with less than 200 yards and just 1 TD. Next up: Defenses from Tampa and Detroit that have played better lately but remain non-scary. Prescott's previous 2 low-yardage games came on his 2 lowest pass-attempt totals of the year (1 tied). He still finished each of those contests with QB ratings above 108.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Ellliott ran for 107 yards in 24 carries in Sunday night's loss to the Giants. That snapped a 3-game streak of less than 100 yards and marked just his 2nd triple-digit line among the past 7 games. Of course, Elliott surpassed 90 yards in 5 of 6 games before Sunday night and reached 86 yards in the other. He hasn't been a problem for any of his fantasy football owners.

Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence (back) is questionable for Sunday night's game against the Giants, but the team expects him to play, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Lawrence actually sat out the past 2 days of practice after a limited workout Wednesday. He has been playing through the issue despite "questionable" tags but has just 1 sack on the year. Lawrence makes for a weak IDP option this week.


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