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You may know Jason Katz from his published football work on sites like FantasyPros. You may also know him as a member of our Handicapping Group (the band is dusting off the instruments and getting ready for 2017…we’ve been renewed for another season). You may also know him, or will get to know him as a die-hard Dallas Cowboys’ fan.
I asked Jason to follow the Cowboys for us all year…for fandom and fantasy. I did so, because he’s convinced, like most fan(atic)s that thinking something good will happen will jinx it to not make it so. I have a different theory — when I see a jinx potential, I pour it on to reverse the jinx. I see a jinx and yell ‘this is a jinx’ just to spit in the face of the jinx. The Dallas Cowboys are going to win the Super Bowl this season, and I am not a biased fan…and the more I say it…the more it’s likely to come true…and the more l say it…the more likely Jason loses sleep and hair follicles.
Jason is a talented young writer, so please enjoy him manically following the ‘Boys…but also sharing fantasy ideas, as his blood runs FFM green and CFM crimson.
Follow more of Katz’s work on Twitter: @jasonkatz13
Hard Knocks episode 3 was this week. It was nice to hear Mike Evans talk about himself amongst the great WRs now and of all time. He knows he’s not there yet, but thinks he has the talent to be there. I agree. I’m all in on Evans for fantasy this year.
Rex Ryan joking about he never had a QB like Jameis Winston was funny because for as much as we aren’t fans of Jameis here, he would’ve been by far the best QB of the Rex Ryan era in New York.
All in all, this was the weakest episode so far. Nothing exciting happened. The joint practices and the game with the Jaguars wasn’t exciting. The Jaguars offense made the Bucs defense look incredible.
Dirk Koetter lambasting Jameis for his bonehead blind heave while falling backwards into the end zone was entertaining. He was ultimately ruled down, but obviously “no harm no foul” didn’t exactly apply there. It’s those types of bonehead decisions that have held Jameis back thus far. He has all the physical tools to be a great QB, but his decision making continues to be questionable.
The Maurice Fleming stuff was quite eye opening. He was visibly injured, yet no one thought to take him off the field? That’s a pretty heavy indictment on the training staff. I realize that Fleming isn’t an important player, but this is still a man’s health. The NFL preaches player safety and then this happens. I guess player safety is only paramount when it’s players that the NFL deems important.
Onto the Cowboys.
Ezekiel Elliott made his preseason debut. This may be the only time we see him until October. He looked to be in midseason form. No rust. Guy doesn’t play football for almost nine months, comes right in, and looks fine. Tell me again why starters need to play in the preseason ever?
The starters played the entire first half. Again, I have no idea why. After a couple successful drives, haven’t we seen all we need to see? Darren McFadden replaced Zeke after just one series. DMC is ready to go. He might be an RB1 for the first six games.
Dak Prescott looks absolutely fantastic. He did miss Dez Bryant on a bomb early in the second quarter. That was one of just three incompletions for Dak. He looked completely composed in the pocket. You can tell the difference between Dak and the other young QBs by the Dak’s poise and decision making. Dak doesn’t immediately default to tucking and running despite the fact that he’s fully capable of doing so. Sure, the offensive line helps, but Dak is just playing on another level. We are 3-4 months away from the entire football universe talking about Dak as a top five NFL QB. He’s all kinds of legit.
Dez was completely invisible, which is why, as a Cowboys fan, I’m down on him for fantasy purposes. Dak just doesn’t need him. Dak throws to who’s open. Fantasy WR1s get force fed targets. Dak is not forcing anything to Dez because he’s too smart and too good.
Sean Lee was everywhere on defense. The Cowboys desperately need him to stay healthy especially in light of the loss of Anthony Hitchens, who was left in the game entirely too long. Jaylon Smith might play more than we thought.
Anthony Brown and Byron Jones are really good at football…but they both got toasted by Amari Cooper for a 48 yard TD down the sideline. Mental lapse. Not worried just yet. If the defense can be average, this team is going to be very good. I’m still not buying Super Bowl like RC, but I’m certainly not buying the Redskins, Giants, or Eagles as serious threats to usurp the Cowboys for the division.
Cooper Rush started the second half and played pretty much the rest of the game before ceding very late to Kellen Moore. I wouldn’t rule out Rush overtaking Moore. He’s simply outplayed my beloved Boise product.
Alfred Morris joined Rush as the next back in the rotation as McFadden was protected like the starter he is. Morris looked leaner and quicker than I ever remember him. He displayed quick cutting ability and strong elusiveness, two qualities he was never really known for during his time in Washington. He’s the direct McFadden handcuff, if you’re into that sort of thing where you handcuff the handcuff. Maybe in really, really deep leagues.
I’m just really excited for the preseason to be over. I hate it and I hate that starters play at all (Have I said this enough?). No one relevant will play Thursday so we can finally really look forward to the season without having to worry about any more players going down.