Yahoo Sports' Matt Harmon and Dalton Del Don discuss the Dallas Cowboys, including how they could make the playoffs this season, the future of Ezekiel Elliott, how the entire team will be next year and more.
MATT HARMON: Cowboys are on a hot streak. What do we make of that right now, and how are we spinning it forward? Not just to protect-- I hate to say it, this team could win the NFC East., Like they they could be playing-- they could be playing a playoff game. What do we make of that, and also going forward into 2021?
DALTON DEL DON: Yeah, I was going to say, this team-- it's not like they're blowing winds like my Niners. What are you doing, costing you draft slots? I'm glad you guys are playing [INAUDIBLE] coach, but the Cowboys might win their division.
So yeah, that was surprising. I did not expect that. I thought the Eagles were going to win that game last week. They're up 14-3. Fletcher Cox leaves, and then suddenly, the wheels fall off.
Cowboys completed the most 50 yard passes in that game in an NFL game this season, three, matching their whole total from the season previous-- before. Zeke suddenly looked better than Tony Pollard. I don't know, man. NFL's tough to predict. It's very frustrating.
I'm not a Cowboys fan, but I loaded up on CeeDee Lamb and Blake Jarwin in all fantasy drafts. CeeDee Lamb was definitely my number one. I drafted him in round 7 and 8. I was just super aggressive with him, and I think he would have probably had a lot better year if Dak Prescott had stayed healthy.
So Prescott and all these Cowboys guys are going to be some of the more interesting players to rank next year. Certainly, Ezekiel Elliott, I mean, because the situation-- I mean, that Cowboys team, you can-- you don't have to squint to hard to project them to lead the NFC in scoring next year, and if he's going to be their feature back because of his contract. I mean, but I don't want him, so I don't know. What are you doing with him, Harmon?
MATT HARMON: Yeah, I don't really want to drive Zeke. At the same time, like you said, it's a back that has a proven track record, that's attached to, what you-- like you said, could be one of the best offenses in the NFL. That being said, I'm starting to-- with these running backs particularly, I want to be Bill Belichick. I want to be a year too early than a year too late.
So if 2021 is Zeke's, like, final ride or whatever, I'll be OK with not having any of it when the wheels fall off in 2022. Because at some point, that's going to happen. He wasn't even that efficient from, you know, a yards per carry basis when Dak Prescott was playing. Like, the pass catching buoyed him, some of the scoring did, but that-- I mean, that's going to happen when you throw the football as much as they did.
Like, let's not forget that Dak Prescott was on pace to not just break the passing yardage record, but to shatter it by over 1,200 yards. Like, that is certainly within the range of outcomes next year because all of these guys-- Cooper, Lamb, Gallup, whether it's Blake Jarwin, whether it's Dalton Schultz. Jarwin got a contract extension, so you'd assume he's going to be back as the starting tight end.
All of these guys are going to be back there, and there could have been a much higher ceiling for this wide receiver trio. Like, I think all of these guys could have crossed 1,000 yards, but as it stands right now, all three of them have five touchdowns. If Gallup gets three targets-- I think he's going to get three targets in week 17-- he's-- all of these guys will go over 100 targets on the year. There's still a huge ceiling for this passing attack.
I know I, personally, will be hyper tempted to just run this baby back next year. You know, take Gallup where he's going in drafts. Take CeeDee Lamb where he's going in drafts. And I think Gallup's the guy who could be the big value there, but-- and we've seen his explosive potential.
And also shout out to Andy Dalton, too, because this is a player who's-- he's stabilized this passing attack. I feel like we talked about it a little bit going into-- I know I was on this narrative on FFL in week 16. This passing offense, he would-- if you'd still thought of it as just a completely broken mess without Prescott, you were kind of missing the boat, because since he's been back in week 11-- obviously, now, this is including the game that they just had against the Eagles-- Dalton has a 101.9 passer rating. He has 13 touchdowns, four picks. He's completing about 67% of his passes at 7.3 yards per attempt.
So there's-- there's some stabilization there. He's made himself some money as a top tier backup. Let's not pretend he's going to be a starting quarterback somewhere next year, but he's shown that even a stable quarterback can make this one of the best offenses in the NFL.
DALTON DEL DON: Yeah, I'm running it back next year in fantasy drafts for sure. Their o-line has even been banged up this year. I believe Zack Martin may miss this important week 17 game.
I'll be-- definitely Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and Blake Jarwin. Don't forget he's pretty good. This offense does throw to the tight end.
And their defense is going to be bad again. I mean, all these contracts tied up to the skill position players on offense, including probably, you know, this theoretical Dak Prescott, I don't expect some big sudden change in their defense being poor, too. So I think that's going to be all conducive to a nice setup for a bunch of points-- points scored, both for the Cowboys and for your fantasy teams.