Shark Bites

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones confirmed that RB DeMarco Murray will be allowed to test free agency.  "[Murray] is probably going to, you know, get some peace and see what's out in the market and then we'll talk and see," Jones said. "I do believe deep down he'd love to stay in Dallas."  Murray will be the top RB on the market, but he might not love the offers he gets.  Teams have been hesitant to pay big bucks to RBs lately.  And Murray is coming off a 497-touch season with a lengthy injury history.  There's a decent chance he ends up back in Dallas, which would be best for his fantasy football value.

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ESPN's Adam Schefter and Todd Archer report that Cowboys LB Rolando McClain will face a 4-game fine in the coming season under the league's new substance abuse policy. The good news, of course, is that he won't miss any games just yet. Of course, it's 1 more off-field issue for a free-agent LB who previously retired after nearly landing himself in jail. We'll see if it impacts his marketability.

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Cowboys RB Joseph Randle was arrested early Wednesday morning for marijuana possession.  Police found the pot when they responded to a domestic violence call at a hotel in Wichita, Kansas.  This is Randle's 2nd arrest in the past 4 months.  He was booked in October for trying to steal underwear and cologne.  We'll see if the latest arrest draws a suspension from the league.  Randle has a huge opportunity in front of him if DeMarco Murray leaves Dallas via free agency.

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Ryan Williams -- remember him?  The 2011 2nd-round pick of the Cardinals spent all of 2014 on the Cowboys practice squad and signed a 2-year futures contract with Dallas after the season.  Insider Clarence Hill takes it as a sign that Williams is part of the team's 2015 backfield plans.  DeMarco Murray is set to hit free agency and seems no better than 50-50 to return to Dallas.  Lance Dunbar is a restricted free agent and no lock to return.  And Joseph Randle remains largely unproven.  The Cowboys backfield will be one of the bigger fantasy football story lines of the offseason.  Whoever is carrying the ball will have loads of upside behind an offensive line that finished 2nd in Pro Football Focus' run-blocking rankings and 1st in Football Outsiders'.

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1 month ago

The team website reports that Cowboys HC Jason Garrett expects LB Sean Lee to be able to go through a normal offseason. Lee tore his left ACL in May, but the timing should allow him to be fully ready for training camp. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported during the season that Dallas plans to move Lee to the weak side in 2015. The team certainly has options after rookie LB Anthony Hitchens emerged as a solid player in 2014. Rolando McClain also enjoyed a solid season when healthy, and OLB Bruce Carter improved over his 2013. It'll be an interesting -- and potentially high-value -- situation to watch for IDP owners.

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Cowboys DE Jeremy Mincey missed Wednesday's practice with a concussion. That obviously means he'll need to clear the league protocol before returning to action. The Sunday kickoff will help. Mincey played well and began to produce sacks over the season's 2nd half, but the matchup with the Packers is bad for his IDP upside. It's also bad for an iffy Dallas defense overall.

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Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford (illness) and LB Anthony Hitchens (ankle) are active for today's game against the Lions after entering Sunday questionable. They're down-the-list options in playoff fantasy football leagues but help the Dallas team D overall.

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Cowboys HC Jason Garrett said Monday that he'll play his starters in this weekend's finale against the Redskins.  “You play guys,” Garrett said. “You get 16 opportunities and you go play and go try and play your best football.”  Dallas clinched the NFC East but still has an outside shot at a 1st-round bye.  There's always a risk that some key players are pulled early, but the plus matchup will make Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten safe to use in Week 17 fantasy lineups.  We'll see what the Cowboys' plan is for RB DeMarco Murray.

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Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray admits that his broken finger "affected me a little bit" in Sunday's win over the Colts.  Murray finished with 22 rushes for 58 yards and a score.  He actually carried the ball in that left hand and even threw a stiff arm or 2 with it.  But he played on only 9 passing plays, blocking 5 times and running 4 routes.  Murray finished without a catch for the 1st time this season.  "It was hurting throughout the game," Murray said. "But I made my mind up a long time ago that I was going to play. I was happy to be out there and happy to do whatever I can to help this team win and it's awesome with the win."  Dallas locked up the NFC East win yesterday's win, but they still have an outside shot at earning the #1 or #2 seed (and a 1st-round bye).  We'll see if they plan to use Murray in the finale against the Redskins.

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2 months ago

Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (finger) is active for today's game against the Colts.  Indications are that he'll play a sizable ball-carrying role but not do much in the passing game.  If you waited on him, get Murray into fantasy lineups against a leaky Indy run defense.

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Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray "is going to play today" against the Colts, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.  It's been trending in that direction all week, but this is the most definitive report we've seen.  Rapoport points out that Murray took the 1st-team in Saturday's walkthrough -- a sure sign that he's on track to play.  Rapoport adds that Murray will play with a pad on his injured hand, and that Dallas is "nervous" about how he'll hold up in pass protection.  We'll likely see Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle in passing situations, which hurts Murray's PPR value.  But we'd still bet on 15+ touches against Indy's 25th-ranked RB defense.

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Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (finger) is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Colts. He got on the practice field all 3 days this week, and it sounds like he made good progress. Doctors have reportedly told Murray that he’s not at more risk if he plays on Sunday than if he sits out until Week 17. And considering Dallas is giving him the final say, we’d be surprised if Murray doesn’t play. He’s unlikely to do much in the passing game, and he probably won’t come close to the 25 carries he averaged through his first 14 games. But we’d bet on Murray carrying at least 15 times. It’s enough to keep him in RB1 territory against the Colts’ 25th-ranked RB defense.

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a Friday morning radio interview that he's "pretty positive" that RB DeMarco Murray (finger) will play against the Colts this weekend.  The reports on Murray have gotten more and more positive throughout the week.  At this point, we'd be surprised if he didn't play.  Questions about Murray's usage remain, but he'll be impossible to bench in season-long leagues if active.

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Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) was listed as a limited participant in Thursday's practice.  Although beat writers saw him going through individual drills on Wednesday, he was listed as DNP.  That means, at least theoretically, that he did more today.  "I've had two good days and we'll see how it goes," Murray said after Thursday's workout.  He added that he'll make the final decision on whether to play against the Colts.  Doctors have told Murray that his hand is no more at risk if he plays on Sunday than if he sits out a week.  At this point, signs are pointing to Murray playing vs. Indy.  We'll have another update on his status tomorrow.

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