Shark Bites

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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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ESPN's Ed Werder reports that the Cowboys have agreed to a new 1-year deal with LB Rolando McClain. They'll reportedly pay him $3 million, with up to $1 million more available via incentives. McClain reportedly chose the offer over 1 from the Patriots. That plus the money indicate McClain will continue to start in Dallas. A MLB ever since he entered the NFL, McClain could push LB Sean Lee to the weak side. Look for McClain to offer only spotty IDP value and Lee to remain the top fantasy football option among Dallas LBs, regardless of where he lines up.

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2 months ago

The Cowboys on Wednesday signed DE Greg Hardy to a 1-year, $11.3 million contract. The short term reflects the league's wariness of Hardy after the domestic incident in summer 2014 that led to charges and the star DE's benching (commissioner's exempt list) for just about all of last season. The big salary, however, shows that Hardy still found a market. That part's not a surprise. He'll turn just 27 in July and racked up 26 sacks over his past 2 active seasons. On the field, Hardy's a tremendous addition for a Dallas D that ranked 28th in sacks in 2014. He turns the Cowboys from an undraftable team D to a potential starting unit. Hardy also carries top-5 upside among D-linemen for IDP fantasy football leagues. And the year off plus a contract year should add plenty of motivation. That said, the league office has yet to comment on his active status for 2015.

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2 months ago

The Cowboys and RB Darren McFadden have agreed to a 2-year deal, according to insider Charean Williams.  It's obviously a fall-back signing after the team lost RB DeMarco Murray to the Eagles.  McFadden turns 28 in August and hasn't topped 3.4 yards per carry in any of the last 3 seasons.  He also comes with a lengthy injury history, having missed 27 games in 7 seasons.  Dallas' All-World offensive line is a great landing spot for McFadden, but fantasy owners simply can't count on him to produce or stay healthy.  The Cowboys shouldn't either.  Look for them to add another RB in the draft.

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2 months ago

The Cowboys have placed just an original-round tender on restricted free-agent RB Lance Dunbar. Because he originally signed as an undrafted free agent, the team would get no compensation if Dunbar signs elsewhere. Dallas will have the option of matching any offer he gets, though. The low tender might signal that the coaching staff no longer likes him as much as it seemed to last offseason, when there was buzz about manufacturing touches for Dunbar, but he only wound up carrying 29 times and catching 18 passes for the year. Dunbar carried some sleeper appeal into 2014 drafts but looks a lot less interesting for 2015.

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2 months ago

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press on Thursday that Panthers DE Greg Hardy can sign a new contract even before he comes off the commissioner's exempt list. The star DE has been on the list since early last season because of the domestic violence case from last summer that only recently settled. He'll be a more interesting case in free agency than Ray Rice. Hardy racked up 26 sacks over his past 2 full seasons and will be just 27 when the 2015 season begins. Assuming some team signs him and the league lets him back on the field, Hardy should remain a strong IDP candidate.

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The Cowboys re-signed WR Cole Beasley to a 4-year deal worth $13.6 million.  It's a fair deal for a guy who has emerged as a reliable short-range, slot receiver.  Beasley has totaled 76 catches on 104 targets (73% catch rate) over the past 2 seasons.  He's averaged just 10.4 yards per catch, though, and scored only 6 TDs.  Beasley is much more valuable to the Cowboys than he is to fantasy teams.

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2 months ago

As expected, the Cowboys have used their franchise tag on WR Dez Bryant.  The move locks up the #1 WR on a 1-year, $12.8 million deal while the 2 sides continue to work on a long-term contract.  The news is also confirmation that RB DeMarco Murray will hit the free-agent market.

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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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3 months ago

North Carolina prosecutors dismissed both charges Monday against Panthers DE Greg Hardy in his domestic violence case, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. The charges stemmed from a summer 2014 incident that already found Hardy guilty of a misdemeanor. He reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with his ex-girlfriend before the trial that was to begin Monday. Hardy wound up missing the final 16 weeks of the 2014 season after the Panthers placed him on the league's exempt/commissioner's permission list. He could still face league action on the assault charges, though. We'll be curious to see how Hardy's situation plays out, especially with unrestricted free agency looming in March. The Observer reported over the weekend that "multiple team sources" said the Panthers are done with Hardy.

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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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