When taking a look at the Dallas Cowboys 12 best Fantasy Football picks dating back to 1990, you include a few of the greatest teams ever assembled.
From 1991 through 1995, the three-headed monster known as “The Triplets” dominated the league both in championships as well as Fantasy status. When you throw in Jay Novacek producing at a TE1 level every year, it would be hard to deny their Fantasy lore.
Since Tony Romo took the reins in 2007, Dallas has produced just as much, if not more, Fantasy value. This period also included a top overall RB, TE and three Top 3 WRs.
Now this mock draft/ranking is mostly about the value that each player provided as a draft pick that particular season.
I did factor in some longevity of production, but I really wanted to declare the best “pick” and not best player over his career.
12 Best Fantasy Football Picks in Dallas Cowboys History
1. Michael Irvin, 1991 : 1,523 yards, 93 catches, 8 touchdowns
Was Irvin’s 1991 the highest scoring season by a Cowboy? Actually, it was not even close to the top. So why put him in the top spot?
Well going into the season, Irvin was 54th among receivers and 142nd overall in Fantasy production the previous year. If ADP had been around, he would have barely even been drafted. Then he went and broke the Cowboys’ single season receiving record and finished as the second highest Fantasy scoring receiver and seventh best performer overall.
2. Emmitt Smith, 1991/1995 : 1,818/2,148 total yards, 49/62 catches, 13/25 touchdowns
I simply could not decide between these two seasons. Emmitt’s 1995 is near the Mount Rushmore of all Fantasy seasons… but he was the odds on top-pick going into the year.
In 1991, Emmitt was coming off a seventh best RB finish and ended the year as the third best scorer overall. There was more value in 1991, but more scoring in 1995, so I will leave them as a tie.
3. DeMarco Murray, 2014 : 2,261 yards, 57 catches, 13 touchdowns
It’s not like Murray came out of nowhere in 2014, as he had almost 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns the year before.
Still, if anyone said that they saw ’14 coming, they are lying. DeMarco seriously threatened the single season rushing record, and if not for a Romo injury and a couple of absolute blowouts (resulting in his three worst games by far), I think he would have gotten it.
4. Tony Romo, 2007 : 4,211 passing yards, 129 rushing yards, 38 total touchdowns
In Romo’s first season as a starter, he broke the franchise record for yards and touchdowns while leading Dallas to the top seed. Ranked as just the 10th quarterback and 90th player overall, Romo finished the season as the second best Fantasy signal-caller and 12th overall providing great value.
5. Jason Witten, 2007 : 1,145 yards, 96 catches, 7 touchdowns
Witten also posted his best overall year in 2007, with even less expectations. He was the 119th ranked player and 11th tight end going into the season, but finished as the top scoring player at his position and 15th overall.
6. Miles Austin, 2009 : 1,320 yards, 81 catches, 11 touchdowns
If these rankings were based off of the value provided in one season alone, Austin would be just behind Irvin. Going into 2009, Miles Austin was not on anyone’s Fantasy radar. No one even had him ranked.
After a plethora of injuries to the Cowboys’ receiving corps, Austin made the most of his chance and turned in the third best season of all wide receivers that year, and eighth among all players.
7. Dez Bryant, 2012 : 1,382 yards, 92 catches, 12 touchdowns
2012 was Bryant’s breakout year, as he finished third among receivers in Fantasy points. It may not have been his most prolific year, but it was the year that he went from a borderline WR2/WR3 to an elite WR1, so there was more value to be gained.
8. Troy Aikman, 1992 : 3,445 passing yards, 105 rushing yards, 24 total touchdowns
Crazy enough, this was the only season in which Aikman cracked the 20 touchdown mark. After having the 15th most Fantasy points the year before, Aikman finished ’92 as the fourth ranked quarterback.
9. Terrell Owens, 2007 : 1,360 yards, 81 catches, 15 touchdowns
Owens was not even the top-ranked player on his team going into 2007 (Marion Barber was, who surprising to some never cracked the Top 25 in Fantasy production), but he ended the year as the fifth best Fantasy producer and second best wide receiver.
10. Darren McFadden, 2015 : 1,417 yards, 40 catches, 3 touchdowns
Now before you scoff and ridicule let me drop some facts that have gotten swept under the rug. McFadden was fourth in the NFL in rushing and finished as the 14th highest scoring running back (mainly due to a severe lack of touchdowns which can be attributed to awful quarterback play).
If you just take his starts over the last 12 games, his per game average would have been fourth best among backs. All it took was a pick in the 100s or the 36th running back off the board to get him on your roster.
11. Jay Novacek, 1992 : 630 yards, 68 catches, 6 touchdowns
While those statistics do not seem impressive, the era has to be taken into account. Novacek actually led all tight ends in Fantasy scoring in 1992. If you lead your position for a season, then you make this list.
12. Laurent Robinson, 2011 : 858 yards, 54 catches, 11 touchdowns
Maybe the most unlikely player on this list, Robinson made the most of his one season in Dallas. He became Tony Romo’s go-to in the Red Zone trailing only Rob Gronkowski, Jordy Nelson and Calvin Johnson in receiving touchdowns.
Unranked going into the season and finishing as the 13th best receiver in Fantasy points would be crazy enough. However, the most shocking statistic is that Robinson only had four touchdowns outside of this season over his entire career.
Terry Glenn, 2005 : 1,136 yards, 62 catches, 7 touchdowns
Glenn was injured the year before and ranked 61st among receivers and 156th overall going into 2005. He then had arguable his best Fantasy season, finishing as a WR1.
- Early Look Ahead to the 2019 Fantasy Football Season - December 31, 2018
- Week 14 DFS Strategy: Deciphering the New Starting Running Landscape - December 9, 2018
- Week 13 DFS Strategy : The Quest For 170 Points And A Win - December 1, 2018