Cowboys Outlook For The Rest of 2020
Austin Evans / @austin_evans7
In week 5 we saw the ugliest side of this game that we love so much. Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome ankle injury that has not only sidelined him for the remainder of the season but could impact the rest of his career. While extremely unfortunate, injuries are a part of the game and we must now look forward to understanding how the move to Andy Dalton will impact our fantasy assets going forward. Let’s dive in!
Let’s make this abundantly clear. Andy Dalton is not Dak Prescott. But he is a professional quarterback in the NFL. He was a serviceable option for years and even had some very bright spots during his tenure in Cincinnati. He even had a top 5 finish at the position in 2013. It’s also fair to say that Dalton never had anywhere near the arsenal of offensive weapons that he has now in Dallas. Dalton also offers a decent amount of rushing upside. Since entering the league the entire list of quarterbacks with more rushing TDs than Dalton: Cam Newton and Dak Prescott. That’s the list. It’s not something that he’s known for; however, it provides a decent floor for the veteran. With a defense that ranks bottom 3 in the league in almost every category that has no hopes of improving anytime soon, expect Dallas to continue to throw early and often. Now that we know that Dalton could provide decent streaming value and could even work his way into starting lineups often, lets look at how Dalton under center will affect his teammates.
Ezekiel Elliot: Zeke has been a model of consistency throughout the season and throughout his career. Commanding one of the largest shares of a running back touches on his team since he entered the league. It may be in the best interest of the Cowboys to try and slow games down and lean on their All-Pro running back a bit more. Not that they don’t trust Dalton, but again he’s not Dak Prescott. Look for Zeke to get fed just a little more.
Dalton Schultz: What looked to be a promising start to a breakout campaign for the second-year tight end seems to be taking a turn for the worse. Andy Dalton has not traditionally thrown to the tight end position. Outside of that one season where Eifert had 13 touchdowns, which has proved to be quite a fluke, no tight ends eclipsed 900 receiving yards, or 8 TD’s for his entire run in Cincy. That was with AJ Green and no one else in the receiving room commanding targets. Now he has three number ones to choose from. Expect Schlutz’s target share to take a hit here.
Entire WR Room: Look we expect the passing volume to be roughly the same as Dallas’ defense will continue to put them in a hole early, but we need to temper expectations that Dalton will be able to make all of the plays that Dak has to keep this team afloat. I am expecting the slightest downgrade for Cooper, Lamb, and Gallup moving forward. Their talent will likely carry Dalton, but the disparity between his talent and Dak’s might take a small toll on his receivers. You are still starting Cooper and Lamb each week. Gallup even with Dak was disappointing, so maybe Dalton spreads the ball around more and he sees a slight uptick.
All in all look for the talent on this offense and their bottom tier defense to create the perfect storm for Dalton to finish somewhere in the QB11-QB15 range on a points per game basis. A great pickup for anyone who is QB needy and a potential league winner if he performs significantly better than we expect him too.