This week the Dallas Cowboys return to the site of “Dez Caught It.”
Heading to Green Bay to face the Packers for what seems like the 100th season in a row (seriously does Green Bay ever get scheduled to play in Dallas?), the Dallas Cowboys will face another test on the road, and another chance to prove themselves legitimate contenders.
What we’re concerned about right here is how the Dallas Cowboys Fantasy Football assets are going to perform for our teams.
As should always be obvious: a real win for the Dallas Cowboys is far more important to me than a win for Team JDub, Eze Dez It, or any of my other teams.
When Dallas Drops Back to Pass
When the Dallas Cowboys drop back to pass they are going to be facing a Green Bay Packers team that is 24th in the NFL in yards allowed (274.5 yards per game). They’ve allowed seven touchdowns this season, which ties them for 14th in the NFL.
As a team, they’ve only intercepted two passes, which ties them for 25th in the NFL. The Packers rank 6th in sacks as a defensive unit with 14 on the season.
Against the Green Bay Packers, Dak Prescott must continue to be his efficient self. He will also need to take advantage of their poor defensive play in the secondary to take pressure off of the running game and the defense.
I’d start Prescott in all formats. He has shown he is a dual-threat and has scored a rushing touchdown in more games than he hasn’t.
The pass catchers for this team can be a little unpredictable. Why? Because Dak Prescott is spreading the ball around to whoever is open. He isn’t trying to force it to just one guy.
With Green Bay’s effectiveness against the run so far this season, Dallas may need to throw to open up the running game.
Jason Witten is worth starting in all formats.
When Dallas Runs the Football
The Dallas Cowboys have been absolutely dominating on the ground the last several weeks.
It was the difference in the football game this past Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Dallas Cowboys run game dominated a Bengals team that had only been allowing 3.8 YPC.
Led by Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys ran for 180 yards and Elliott averaged over 8 yards per carry. As a team, the Dallas Cowboys scored three rushing touchdowns on a team that hadn’t previously given up a rushing touchdown.
Alfred Morris has been getting some looks, but for all intents and purposes, his only fantasy football relevance is as a handcuff to Elliott.
The Green Bay Packers currently rank first in the league in rushing defense. They’ve held opponents to 2.0 YPC, 171 yards rushing in four games (42.5 yards/game), and only one rushing touchdown.
What doesn’t show up in the numbers is the teams that the Green Bay Packers have faced in 2016. They’ve Faced the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, who rank 21st, 26th, 30th, and 32nd in rushing this season, respectively.
They haven’t faced a running game like the Dallas Cowboys yet.
All that said, we saw last week how the Dallas Cowboys were able to make a team’s strength look like a weakness. In order to win in week six, they’ll need to do it again.
Elliott is averaging 18.3 fantasy points per game on the season. That ranks third behind Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson and Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray. Over the last three weeks that number has jumped to 22.27 points per game, which is first amongst running backs over that span.
Ezekiel Elliott, as a rookie, has turned into an every week must-start for Fantasy Football.
When Dallas is on Defense
The Dallas Cowboys are one of two teams to not allow a 100-yard receiver or 100-yard rusher in any game in 2016.
The Dallas Cowboys defense has been playing really good in the 2016 season. They’re allowing on average 18.2 points per game this season. That number ranks them 9th in the NFL in scoring defense.
In week 5, they were dominating a very good Cincinnati Bengals offense through three quarters before taking the foot off the gas in the fourth quarter. Yes, they allowed the Bengals to score, but they didn’t allow them any big plays.
The Dallas secondary did an excellent job keeping A.J. Green bottled up.
On the afternoon, Green only had four catches for 50 yards. That’s one of the best five receivers in the NFL that they contained. Combine that with the work they did on Odell Beckham Jr. in week one (four catches for 73 yards) and we have the makings of a secondary that can be relied upon to win games.
However, Aaron Rodgers is having a down year.
He’s yet to throw for more than 260 yards and has been held under 200 yards passing twice this season. Through four games, Rodgers is only completing 56% of his passes and has a quarterback rating of 87.7, the lowest he has posted since becoming a starter in the NFL.
The wide receiving threats remain Jordy Nelson — who is still working his way back from his ACL injury a year ago — and Randall Cobb — who in week four posted his first 100-yard receiving game since week two of 2015.
While Rodgers is always a threat to have a big game, my real concern is running back Eddie Lacy.
In his three career games against the Dallas Cowboys (including the 2014 playoffs), Lacy has carried the ball 64 times for 366 yards and two touchdowns.
That’s 5.72 yards per carry.
Dallas has had some difficulty stopping the run in 2016. While they haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in any game this season, they’ve allowed a 4.6 yard per carry average.
What you do like about the Dallas Defense in 2016… they only allow opposing teams to score on 33.3% of their drives. Meaning 66.67% of the opponent’s drives end in a punt, turnover, turnover on downs, or missed field goal. That’s pretty good.
Dallas Cowboys Sit/Start
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