2021 Fantasy Preview – Dallas Cowboys

Team Overview

The Dallas Cowboys looked to be the clear favorites in their division and playoff contenders at the beginning of the 2020 season. Unfortunately, they faced severe defensive struggles and lost their franchise quarterback midway through game 5 against the New York Giants, derailing their season. Following the Dak Prescott injury, the Cowboys consistently were down offensive lineman throughout the season making it increasingly difficult for Andy Dalton and Ezekiel Elliot to shoulder the load on offense.

On offense, it looks like everyone will be back and healthy to start the 2021 season. On defense, the Cowboys saw some key departures in Chidobe Awuzie, Antwuan Woods, Tyron Crawford, and Aldon Smith. But they added Keanu Neal in Free Agency,  maybe the best defensive player in the 2020 draft in Micah Parsons, as well as hitting defense hard in the draft with key young additions at all three levels. If the defense can improve and Dak leaves off where he started in 2020, this team could be serious playoff contenders.

2021 Fantasy Preview Dallas Cowboys- Projected Depth Chart

Individual Players

Studs

  • Dak Prescott: Dak Prescott has been a stud in fantasy since starting in place for Tony Romo in the 2016 season with his worst season being QB14 in 2018. Every other season he has been top 10 (outside of his injured 2020 campaign where he was QB1 through 4 weeks) and was the QB2 in 2019. Dak is a stud and should continue to be so for many years to come as he is still only 27. 
  • Ezekiel Elliot: Even during a “down” 2020 season, Elliott was able to put together a season where he finished as the RB9. Outside of 2020, he has only been outside the top 5 RBs in 2017 where he finished as the RB13. With the offensive line and the rest of the offense back to full health, Elliott should have plenty of open lanes in the running game and a lot more scoring opportunities. Look for Elliott to be a stud again in 2022, but in dynasty, if fantasy managers aren’t contenders, during the season it might be good to sell high. He is turning 25 and going into his 6th season with a lot of mileage on the tires. 

Role Players

  • CeeDee Lamb: If it weren’t for Justin Jefferson’s historic season, there would be a lot more hype going on for Lamb. He was only behind Jefferson in receptions and yards for rookie WRs, posting almost 1000 yards in 2020. He is a massive dynasty buy at the age of 22, but also looks to be redraft relevant as he’s already earned a WR2 finish. With Dak back, it’s wheels up for the Dallas WRs, and Lamb looks to take over the WR1 spot from Amari Cooper sooner than later. 
  • Amari Cooper: While his replacement is lining up across the formation from him every Sunday, Cooper is still providing low-end WR1/high-end WR2 fantasy numbers. Last season he finished as the WR15, and that only looks to improve with Dak back at the head of the offense. Cooper is still young 27 and should have plenty more years of fantasy production for dynasty managers, whether that is for the Cowboys or for another team following his out in his contract at the end of the 2021 season.

Keep an eye on

  • Blake Jarwin: Most believed that Jarwin was primed for a breakout in 2020 due to the flashes he displayed in 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately, he got slowed down by injuries in 2020 and Dalton Schultz ca