Dallas Cowboys Fantasy Football News 2020

The Cowboys have agreed to trade DE Everson Griffen to the Lions. COVID testing and restrictions will keep him from being available to play against the Colts this Sunday, but Griffen upgrades the pass rush for a team that clearly considers itself a contender. He figures to grow his playing time, which has only cracked 60% once this season. DE Romeo Okwara will likely be the primary playing-time loser in Detroit. Back in Dallas, Aldon Smith has seen his playing time dip the past 2 weeks. There's a chance that rebounds, but Tyrone Crawford might be the more direct beneficiary on the playing time front. If that's the case, then there's no IDP impact. Crawford sports 5 total tackles and 1 QB hit (no sacks) to date.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch is active for tonight's game against the Cardinals. It will mark his 1st action since he suffered a collarbone fracture in the opener.

The Cowboys have activated LB Leighton Vander Esch from IR. That falls in line with last week's word from HC Mike McCarthy that Vander Esch was trending toward facing the Cardinals tonight. We'll confirm LVE's active status closer to game time. It's tough to know whether he'll jump back to full playing time right away. But Vander Esch's activation puts him ahead of Joe Thomas as an IDP option for Week 6.

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy said Saturday that he's "definitely encouraged" about LB Leighton Vander Esch's chance of playing Monday night against the Cardinals. "All the arrows are pointing up right now," McCarthy added. The team has yet to actually activate the LB from IR, though, following surgery for a Week 1 collarbone fracture. If you're hoping to use Vander Esch -- or replacement Joe Thomas -- in your IDP lineup, then you'll need to watch the situation into Monday.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch has returned to the practice field this week. CBS Sports reports that he's on track to play Monday night against the Cardinals. Dallas, however, has yet to list him on this week's injury report, which means the team has yet to activate him from IR. Vander Esch suffered a collarbone fracture in Week 1, so playing in Week 6 would mark a surprisingly quick return. Players typically take half a season to return from that surgery. We'll see about Vander Esch's status for Monday night as we move into the weekend. He's at least worth picking up now where available, though, assuming that he'll be ready to play Washington in Week 7. His return will push Joe Thomas back out of the starting lineup.

Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence (knee) is active for today’s game against the Seahawks. He saw his playing time limited last week by injury, though, and then saw limited practice participation this week. Try to avoid using Lawrence in IDP lineups if you can help it.

Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence is questionable for Sunday's game against the Seahawks. He missed the 1st 2 practices of the week with a knee injury that limited his Week 2 playing time. Dallas estimated him at a limited participation level for Friday's walkthrough. Keep Lawrence out of your Week 3 IDP lineups if you can. DE Everson Griffen figures to see extra playing time.

Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence barely played in the 2nd half of Sunday's win over the Falcons because of a knee injury. HC Mike McCarthy said Monday they "were just keeping an eye on" Lawrence's knee in the 2nd half after he hurt it in the 1st, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. The coach said they should know more about Lawrence's status for Week 3 once the practice week begins Wednesday. Lawrence's downtime produced more snaps for DE Everson Griffen. Aldon Smith led the edge group in playing time for the 2nd straight game.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch will have surgery on his fractured collarbone and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Joe Thomas played full-time snaps filling in for Vander Esch on Sunday night and is an option for deep IDP leagues. LB Jaylon Smith and SS Darian Thompson also gain tackle upside with LVE out.

Cowboys MLB Leighton Vander Esch fractured his collarbone in Sunday night's loss to the Rams and will go on IR, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Vander Esch is expected to return this year, but he'll likely miss at least half the games. Don't bother hanging on to LVE in redraft leagues, unless you have an IR spot to play with. His absence will help the tackle upside for LB Jaylon Smith and SS Darian Thompson.

Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch left in the 1st half of Sunday night's game against the Rams with a collarbone injury. He's questionable to return.

Update: The Cowboys have ruled him out for the game. We'll await further word on his outlook. Joe Thomas entered in his place.

The Cowboys on Thursday released S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. It's an unfortunate turn for a veteran free agent Dallas signed this offseason to take over for Jeff Heath at SS. But it's not surprising. Multiple reporters mentioned Clinton-Dix trending toward losing the starting gig to Darian Thompson. Clinton-Dix's release makes Thompson a deep IDP sleeper in a role that has seen productive turns under DC Mike Nolan through multiple coaching stops. A 3rd-round pick by the Giants back in 2016, Thompson spent 2 injury-affected years there before spending the past 2 as a reserve with the Cowboys. Thompson will turn just 27 in September, though, and delivered big plays in coverage back at Boise State (19 INTs in 4 seasons, including 12 over his final 2).

The Cowboys have reached a deal with DE Everson Griffen, according to NFL Network. Griffen spent 2010-19 with the Vikings, the last 6 of those as a starter. Injury and off-field issues derailed his 2018. Griffen missed 5 games and finished with just 5.5 sacks. He rebounded in 2019, however, missing only a meaningless Week 17, notching 8 sacks and tallying 24 QB hits. That last number tied for 11th in the league. In Dallas, Griffen immediately looks like the favorite to start at right DE opposite Demarcus Lawrence. He'll likely be available at least into DL3 range in IDP drafts. Griffen presents upside beyond that.

The Cowboys on Wednesday night signed edge rusher Aldon Smith to a one-year deal. Smith hasn't played since 2015 because of NFL suspensions for both legal and drug issues but is reportedly seeking reinstatement. He racked up 14 sacks as a 49ers rookie way back in 2011 and then climbed to 19.5 in his 2nd season. Smith dealt with injuries and off-field issues over the next 3 seasons, last playing 9 games -- and tallying just 3.5 sacks -- with the 2015 Raiders. He'll turn 31 shortly after the 2020 season begins, so we'll see what Smith looks like whenever team workouts become possible again. If he approaches his early career form, there are certainly plenty of snaps available after DE Robert Quinn left to sign with the Bears. Smith's worth a stash in IDP dynasty leagues where possible.

The Bears on Tuesday agreed to a 5-year, $70 million deal with EDGE Robert Quinn, including $30 million guaranteed. Quinn rebounded to tie for 9th in the NFL with 11.5 sacks last season and tie for 16th with 22 QB hits. That followed just 24 total sacks over his previous 4 seasons, though, including 2015 and 2016 campaigns halved by injury. Quinn turns 30 in May and has proved a dynamic pass rusher when healthy. He and Khalil Mack have a chance to become the league's top pass-rushing duo over the next couple of years. His move to Chicago's 3-4 base, though, also should change Quinn's designation in most IDP leagues from DE to LB. That will hurt his fantasy value even if he continues to produce. The Bears also reportedly will release former 1st-round OLB Leonard Floyd -- who had been starting in Quinn's new spot. Dallas, meanwhile, must replace the guy who led last year's defense by 6.5 sacks.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Dolphins have agreed to a "massive deal" with free-agent CB Byron Jones. The former Cowboy is regarded as 1 of the league's top cover men, but that hasn't translated to much fantasy production the past couple of years. We'll see if that changes in a new defense.

NFL Network's Jane Slater reports that Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch will have "minimally invasive surgery" within the next few weeks to fix the nerve issue in his neck that ended his season early. Dallas expects Vander Esch to be back "long before camp." Veteran LB Sean Lee remains an IDP starting option for Week 17, coming off 17 tackles in Sunday's loss to the Eagles.

The Cowboys have ruled LB Leighton Vander Esch (neck) out once again. He hasn't played since Week 11. Sean Lee remains an IDP starting option in LVE's absence.

Cowboys LB Sean Lee (pec, thigh) is active for today's game against the Rams. He'll play starter-level snaps with Leighton Vander Esch out, but could be in line for less playing time than the past few weeks given issues that kept Lee out of practice all week. He's merely a low-end IDP starting option.

Cowboys LB Sean Lee missed practice all week while dealing with pectoral and thigh injuries, but NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Lee is "planning to go" against the Rams today. An active Lee would still carry some risk of decreased playing time. Even with Leighton Vander Esch out the past 3 weeks, Lee played 68%, 85% and 83% of the defensive snaps. Consider Lee no more than a LB3 for IDP lineups.

 
 
 

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