2012 Team Outlook: Dallas
QB Tony Romo, DAL (QB - #11) - Solid/Safe Pick
Another strong fantasy season for the Cowboys passer and yet the gap between Romo and the elite passers widened. Posted 4,184 passing yards (seventh in NFL), but had only one 300-yard game over the final 11 weeks. Did throw for over 30 touchdown passes for the second time as a pro, a number he could match in 2012. Outside of injury fear, safe and strong as top-8 option.
QB Kyle Orton, DAL (QB - #41) - Fantasy Handcuff
The best part about the Cowboys signing Orton is that now whenever the inevitable Tony Romo injury pops up, the backup will produce at least 75-80 percent of the starter's production. That is a major step up from the depths of Jon Kitna. Quirky Romo owners could even stick with Orton as a handcuff rather than . Top 12-15 QB potential in this offense if he plays.
RB DeMarco Murray, DAL (RB - #5) - Solid/Safe Pick
In a single week 7 performance, Murray went from a backup to the Cowboys' single-game record holder with 253 rushing yards. The shifty back also effectively supplanted Felix Jones as the starter. That dynamic remains entering 2012 and Murray's explosive ability positions him as a low-end RB1. Durability and over usage remains concerning; Murray's dynamic ability does not.
RB Phillip Tanner, DAL (RB - #91) - Deep-league Only
Playing behind a pair of high profile runners like DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones means little week-to-week action for the Cowboys' third back. Playing behind a pair of frequently injured players means Tanner's role could be elevated at any time. The 220-pounder proved capable as a rookie and is a potential Murray handcuff in deep leagues.
RB Lawrence Vickers, DAL - Low Potential
Signed away from the Texans, Vickers is a pure lead blocker and no threat to snake short yardage carries. Finished with five touches last season, but will do wonders opening holes for Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray. Unless injuries change the plan, Vickers is not worth adding in any format.
RB Felix Jones, PHI (RB - #52) - Fantasy Handcuff
Bad news for anyone who typically avoids the Felix Jones hype train: many more people are now on your side. After laboring through the Cowboys' first five games last season, injuries slowed Jones (shocker!) and DeMarco Murray happened. Both are training room regulars so a depth chart change is possible - and likely at least once or twice. For now Jones is the other guy – and a fantasy reserve.