The Cowboys are signing QB Andy Dalton to a 1-year deal, according to multiple reports. It's a $3 million pact with incentives up to $7 million. It's a little surprising to see Dalton settle for a clear backup job so quickly after his Bengals release, but that suggests New England and Jacksonville were not options. Now we're back to Cam Newton as the only free-agent QB with a shot to challenge for a starting job. In Dallas, Dalton represents a big upgrade over Cooper Rush as Dak Prescott's backup. Prescott, though, accounted for every QB passing attempt for the Cowboys over the past 2 years.
The Bengals have released QB Andy Dalton. They looked for a trade partner but had no leverage with Dalton set to count nearly $18 million against the cap. We'll see where he lands, but New England looks like the only spot where Dalton would have a legitimate chance to win a starting job. This move confirms that rookie Joe Burrow will be under center for Cincinnati come Week 1.
The Cowboys added Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. He joins Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in a loaded WR corps. Lamb turned in a brilliant 3-year college career. He made an immediate impact as a true freshman, ranking 3rd on the Sooners behind Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews with 46 catches and 807 yards and tying for 2nd with 7 TDs. Lamb’s numbers grew to 65 catches, 1,158 yards and 11 scores in 2018. And he pumped out a massive 62-1,327-14 line this past year. Lamb’s 15.1 yards per target and 3.99 yards per route run in 2019 were easily tops among 30 of this year’s best WR prospects. The 6’2, 198-pounder is a beast after the catch, ranking top 5 among all draft-eligible players in both missed tackles forced and yards-after-catch average. He’s also a weapon downfield with his long-striding speed and plus ball skills. We see a lot of Demaryius Thomas in Lamb’s game — although DeAndre Hopkins seems to be his most popular comp. Lamb is joining what was 1 of the most efficient passing games in the NFL last year, although he’ll be battling for targets with Cooper and Gallup. QB Dak Prescott’s stock gets a significant boost here.
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 Cowboys have signed K Greg Zuerlein to a 3-year, $7.5 million deal. The 32-year-old had a down 2019, connecting on just 73% of his FG attempts. But he'd drilled 86+% in each of the previous 3 seasons and is a prime bounce-back candidate in Dallas' high-powered offense.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that WR Amari Cooper "intends" to re-sign with the Cowboys on a 5-year, $100 million deal. Schefter adds that Washington tried to draw Cooper away on Monday but lost out. Staying in Dallas figures to be the best move for Cooper's fantasy outlook. He has produced WR1-level numbers since the mid-2018 trade. Cooper's decision keeps intact the top of a Cowboys passing game that also delivered a lot of fantasy points through QB Dak Prescott and WR Michael Gallup in 2019.
The Cowboys and TE Blake Jarwin have agreed to a 3-year, $24.25 million extension with $9.25 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That makes Jarwin a heavy favorite to operate as Dallas' lead TE in 2020. The 25-year-old has totaled 58 catches, 672 yards and 6 TDs over the last 2 seasons, posting a 75.3% catch rate and 11.6 yards per catch. His fantasy upside would get a boost if Dallas loses WR Amari Cooper in free agency.
The Cowboys have placed the franchise tag on QB Dak Prescott. The 2 sides have been working on hammering out a long-term deal and still have until July 15 to do so. But this at least ensures that Prescott will be with Dallas for the 2020 campaign. He's coming off a career-best season that saw him rank 2nd among QBs in fantasy points. It was his 4th straight top-11 finish.
The Cowboys will name HC Mike McCarthy their new HC, according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer. An official announcement is expected later this week. McCarthy spent 2006-2018 as Packers HC, compiling a 125-77-2 record, 9 playoff appearances and 1 Super Bowl. He was an OC before that and figures to have a big say in the Cowboys offense. But we'll see who McCarthy brings aboard as his OC.
The Cowboys have fired HC Jason Garrett. The move seemed inevitable but for some reason took until a full week after Dallas' season had ended to happen. Garrett spent the past 13 seasons with the Cowboys as either OC or HC. He finishes with an 85-67 record as HC but had far too many underachieving seasons. 2019 was chief among them, with Dallas going 8-8 despite a loaded roster. We'll see who the Cowboys tab as their new HC. We're also curious to see if they can hang on OC Kellen Moore, who showed promise at times as the play-caller this past year.
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.
ESPN's Adam Caplan hears that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (shoulder) had "no issues with making throws with some distance on them during Saturday's work." It's the most positive report we've heard on Prescott all week. We still won't know exactly how close he is to 100% until Cowboys-Eagles kicks off this afternoon, though, so we're still ranking him as a risk/reward QB1.
Rams K Greg Zuerlein is active for tonight's game against the 49ers. He's a shaky fantasy option.
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 QB Dak Prescott (shoulder) isn't listed on the final injury report. It's confirmation that he'll start Sunday's game against the Eagles. Prescott is reportedly dealing with an AC joint injury in his right shoulder, though, and only did some light throwing on Friday this week. It obviously adds lots of risk to his Week 16 fantasy profile -- although there's upside in this matchup vs. Philly's burnable CBs.
Rams K Greg Zuerlein (quad) missed practice all week and is questionable for Saturday night's game against the 49ers. HC Sean McVay said Thursday that he expects Zuerlein to play but won't know for sure until he kicks on Friday. Avoid him in Week 16 fantasy lineups.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott told reporters on Thursday that he'll play against the Eagles this weekend, despite the AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder. "I'm getting better," he said. "Simple as that. Mobility and function, it's all improving. That's the key. That's the goal. I'll be good to go Sunday." Prescott didn't throw on Thursday and said that he might not throw until Saturday. He also revealed that he suffered this same injury multiple times in college. "I haven't had it in 4 years. You forget the pain level," he said. "You've got to get used to that again, but it's fine ... Nothing I can't deal with." We'll continue to keep a close eye on Prescott, but he's shaping up as a risk/reward Week 16 fantasy play.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott suffered an AC joint injury in his throwing shoulder in the 1st quarter of Sunday's win over the Rams. Prescott never left that game but attempted just 20 passes over the final 3-and-a-half quarters. HC Jason Garrett said Wednesday that an MRI revealed no structural damage to the shoulder but that Prescott is "not very functional at the moment." Garrett also stopped short of guaranteeing that Prescott will play against the Eagles this weekend, although ESPN's Ed Werder reports that Prescott is expected to play. We'll keep a close eye on the situation over the next few days -- but we just moved Prescott and his WRs down the Week 16 Rankings.
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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