Shark Bites

The league has suspended Cowboys LB Rolando McClain for 4 games for violating the substance-abuse policy. The move doesn't make much of a team-defense ripple for fantasy football drafts, because Dallas isn't a strong option even with all of its starters around. We'll be interested to see, however, if the Cowboys slide Sean Lee into the middle from his new weak-side spot or 2014 rookie Anthony Hitchens in from the strong side. Hitchens would seem to make more sense from here. Dallas played him there 4 times last season and could give the youngster a tryout to see if he fits there long term. Of course, the Cowboys could just slot in backup Jasper Brinkley and leave the outside guys in their spots. McClain didn't look particularly attractive as an IDP option to begin with and should certainly go undrafted in nearly all redraft leagues at this point.

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Cowboys RB Darren McFadden is back on the field for minicamp this week after missing time earlier this offseason with a bum hamstring.  “I’m 100 percent and ready to go play ball,” McFadden said. “It felt great. We were just taking precautions, they didn’t want me to mess it up or anything crazy."  Now let's see if he can stay healthy.  It sounds like McFadden has already fallen behind Joseph Randle in the race for the Cowboys' starting RB job.

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Cowboys WR Dez Bryant showed up for Thursday's minicamp.  He's not practicing because he still hasn't signed his franchise-tag contract, but this is obviously a good sign.  Owner Jerry Jones said yesterday that he's been speaking with Bryant over the past couple of weeks.  We're still betting on a long-term deal getting hammered out before the July 15th deadline.  And if not, we're not buying Bryant's threat to sit out Week 1.

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Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is threatening to sit out the season opener if he doesn't get a long-term contract.  "This is not a rumor," Bryant said, according to NFL Network's Mike Silver.  It's only mid-June, so both sides are playing hardball.  They have until July 15 to agree to a multi-year deal.  Dallas absolutely needs Bryant on the field, and Bryant would lose about $1 million if he sits out Week 1.  That's plenty of motivation for a deal to get done.  At this point, we'd be extremely surprised if Bryant wasn't on the field for the Sunday-night opener against the Giants.

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Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has been dominating 1st-team reps this spring.  RB Darren McFadden has been sidelined by a hamstring issue, while RB Ryan Williams is having problems with his surgically repaired knee.  Injuries, of course, have been a major problem for both guys.  Randle will have a leg up on the starting job heading to training camp.  There's RB2 upside if he wins that spot.  Randle's price tag in fantasy drafts is skyrocketing, though.  He was available in the double-digit rounds of drafts a month ago but is going in the 6th round of early-June drafts.

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The Cowboys have signed RB Lache Seastrunk.  We usually don't report moves of this ilk, but we're closely monitoring the Dallas backfield because of its fantasy potential.  Seastrunk was a 6th-round pick of the Redskins last year after averaging 7.6 yards per carry over his final 2 seasons at Baylor.  He goes 5'10, 201 pounds with 4.5 speed and above average burst and agility.  Seastrunk popped off 4.8 yards per carry last preseason but spent the regular season on the practice squad.  He's still raw coming from a college spread offense.  He remains a long shot to make a 2015 fantasy impact but is worth monitoring this summer.  The Cowboys released undrafted rookie RB Synjyn Days to make room for Seastrunk.

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The Dallas Morning News' Jon Machota predicts that Joseph Randle will win the starting RB job this summer.  He's competing for that spot with Darren McFadden and Ryan Williams.  The former hasn't topped 3.4 yards per carry since 2011; the latter hasn't played in a regular-season game since rupturing his patellar tendon in 2012.  Randle, meanwhile, averaged a robust 6.7 yards on his 51 totes last year.  We're on board with Machota and believe Randle will lead Dallas RBs in carries and fantasy points this season.  Don't expect him to even approach DeMarco Murray's numbers from a year ago, but Randle could emerge as a weekly RB2.  He's going in the mid-6th round of recent MFL10 drafts.

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1 month ago

Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas reports that the Cowboys have reached a deal with WR A.J. Jenkins. The 2012 first-round pick of the Niners proved such a bust, of course, that San Francisco traded him to Kansas City in summer 2013 for fellow Round 1 bust Jonathan Baldwin. After Jenkins caught just 17 passes over the past 2 years for the WR-needy Chiefs, we see no reason to expect him to make an impact in Dallas. Perhaps this is a sign, however, that the Cowboys aren't satisfied with their WR depth -- especially with Dez Bryant yet unsigned beyond 2015.

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The Cowboys had 8 picks in the 2015 NFL Draft and didn't use any of them on a RB.  Owner Jerry Jones suggested that the signing of Darren McFadden made the team comfortable passing on RBs.  “It might have been a little different story had we not had McFadden on our roster in this draft," Jones said.  HC Jason Garrett added that the Cowboys "feel good" about their current RB depth chart, which also includes Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams.  But Garrett added that, "the issue is never resolved.  We’re always trying to create competition. Competition with those four guys themselves but also competition where we can get running backs from other places."  McFadden is penciled in atop the depth chart, but he could lose that spot to Randle or someone not currently on Dallas' roster.

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2 months ago

The Cowboys finally stopped DE Randy Gregory's slide by taking him in the 2nd round with the 60th overall pick. Gregory's failed drug test at the Scouting Combine was the big headline, but NFL.com reported that many around the league worried about Gregory's "ability to handle the mental rigors of professional football." We'll see how things go on that front, but there's no denying the talent Gregory brings. Some called him a top-5 player. Dallas presents an immediate need after DE Greg Hardy's 10-game suspension, and landing in a 4-3 D undeniably boosts Gregory's IDP value. He could be a fantasy football factor right away and looks quite intriguing for dynasty rookie drafts.

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The Wichita district attorney's office announced Friday that Cowboys RB Joseph Randle won't face charges from a Feb. 3 domestic disturbance. According to the Dallas Morning News, Randle's ex-girlfriend accused him of shattering a car window and pointing a gun at her friend and the infant son that Randle has with the ex-girlfriend. Officials seemed the evidence not worth any criminal charges, however, and deemed the case closed "barring further evidence." Avoiding charges doesn't necessarily mean that Randle will avoid NFL discipline. We'll see how his situation develops. Of course, his fantasy football outlook might be impacted more by what Dallas does (or doesn't do) on the 2nd day of the NFL Draft.

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2 months ago

The Cowboys picked CB Byron Jones in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. Jones became an athletic marvel with his eye-opening Scouting Combine but also performed well as a cover man in 2014. Pro Football Focus credited him with a 26.0 QB rating on balls thrown his way. Jones could fight for a starting job right away in Dallas. We'll see how that goes before projecting any IDP value.

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The NFL on Wednesday announced a 10-game suspension for Cowboys DE Greg Hardy for "conduct detrimental to the league." The move comes under a disciplinary code that wasn't in place when Hardy allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend last summer. That could make his appeal interesting. If he does miss the 1st 10 games, it's going to be tough to draft the top-shelf pass rusher in most IDP leagues. That would also keep DE among Dallas' top needs heading into next week's NFL Draft. We'll see where this situation goes.

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