2014 Outlook: Murray has every skill you want in a fantasy back. He's big, he's fast, he can catch and he was third among all qualified RBs with 5.2 yards per carry in 2013. So why don't we rank him higher than 10th? Injuries. Broken ankle, sprained wrist, sprained ankle, sprained knee -- Murray has often earned a "questionable" tag even when he played. When he is 100 percent, the Cowboys have proved they're willing to give Murray a big-time workload. He averaged 21.3 touches per game after Week 10 last year. That's RB1 material ... if he can stay healthy.
2014 Outlook: Last season the Cowboys scaled back their vertical throws by 14 percent, from 194 to 167. So it makes sense that Bryant finished with only 74 fantasy points on such passes (tied for 19th) and saw his yards per catch decrease by more than 11 percent. The saving grace for Bryant's fantasy owners was his 111 fantasy points on short throws; he was one of only two WRs to break triple digits in that category. With former Lions OC Scott Linehan now serving as the Cowboys' passing-game coordinator, don't be shocked to see Dallas stretch the field more this year with Bryant. He has the skill set to get separation deep and rack up yards on underneath throws.
2014 Outlook: Last year Witten topped 5 receiving TDs for just the second time in the past six seasons, earning his fantasy owners a respite from their annual end zone torment. In general, though, 2013 was a bit of a comedown. Witten posted his fewest catches and lowest yardage total since 2006 and had a whopping seven games in which he caught three or fewer passes. He's still only 32 and can bust loose in any given week, but we'd be worried about last year's so-so totals combined with his typical dearth of touchdowns.
2014 Outlook: Williams got off to a slow start as a rookie, catching only five balls for 60 yards in his first three games. But a few route-running mistakes aside, the Cowboys couldn't have asked for much more from their third-round pick. Williams flashed big-play potential, and his 16.7 yards per catch ranked fifth among receivers with at least 40 catches, behind only Josh Gordon, Riley Cooper, Calvin Johnson and Torrey Smith. In total, he finished third in fantasy points among rookie WRs (96) and second on the Cowboys in offensive snaps played by a receiver (648). Both of those numbers should increase now that the rookie jitters are out of the way.
2014 Outlook: There is a certain amount of dread from fantasy owners about Romo, and it's unclear why. He was ninth in fantasy QB points per game (16.8) and less than a point per game from ranking fifth. He's very durable (having missed only four games in his career outside of 2010), has a great WR1 (Dez Bryant) and an up-and-coming WR2 (Terrance Williams), and he won't cost a lot on draft day. For the past three years, Romo has been a top-10 fantasy quarterback, and he could do it again. There are more dreadful options in the later rounds.
2014 Outlook: Very few kickers benefit more from long-range kicks than Bailey. He tied for the league lead in fantasy points from field goals of 50 to 59 yards (30) and tied for second in field goals made from 40-plus (16). So there are no questions about Bailey's leg strength and accuracy on long boots. The problem is that the Cowboys are about as volatile as any offense in the league, and one Bailey slump on long kicks could seriously eat away at his fantasy value.
2014 Outlook: By pretty much every available metric, the Cowboys were a bottom-five defense against the run and the pass last season. And it's going to get worse before it gets better. Jerry Jones backed his team into a salary cap corner and as a result swapped DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher for Henry Melton and Jeremy Mincey. That's a huge net loss. The D-line cabinet in Big D is now almost comically bare and will expose a back end with no starter-quality safeties and a couple of big-money corners (Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne) who stunk in 2013. This unit looks destined to give up 30-plus points per game.
2014 Outlook: Orton aired it out in Week 17 last season, throwing for 358 yards and 2 TDs as he filled in for an injured Tony Romo. Even better: He made zero bad decisions, while still throwing the ball downfield; all told, he completed four balls for 112 yards on vertical passes. Romo has a long track record of durability -- excluding the 2010 season, he's missed only four starts in his career -- but he is 34 years old. If he does go down, Orton has some fantasy value, if only because Dallas' offensive weapons are so plentiful.