Top Five Fantasy Questions for the Cowboys

In this new feature, looks at the top five questions for all 32 teams that fantasy football participants will have to face in their drafts this summer.

1. Can TE Jason Witten repeat last year's success? There's no question that Witten will have a bulls eye on his chest from opposing defenses after having a breakout season and essentially leading his team in receiving.

Some team observers felt that he was able to take advantage last season of the emphasis on no contact over five yards. While there is expected to be the same emphasis put on the rule this season, defenses usually adjust to rules changes or emphasis on such rules the following season.

The team didn't draft or sign a free agent receiver so it's apparent that they'll go with a similar offensive game plan in 2005, which will have Witten as a big part of it. But with an improved defense, they shouldn't have to throw as much so he may not catch as many passes as he did previously since they shouldn't be playing from behind nearly as much.

2. What role will RB Anthony Thomas have? Thomas was signed to give second-year RB Julius Jones some rest and to help keep him healthy. We would suspect that since Thomas has good size, he could handle some of the short-yardage responsibilities this season including some goal-line carries. That gives Thomas some late round value.

3. What kind of production can one expect from their wide receivers? It looks to be the same group from last season with Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, and Quincy Morgan as the top players at the position.

We're expecting their offense to take a more conservative approach with a run-orientated base which means we don't expect very solid fantasy numbers from their receivers. Johnson still remains the top dog of the three and he looks to be a decent pick for depth in the second half of your draft. The other two look like waiver wire pickups during the season.

4. Is Julius Jones worth selecting as a No.1 fantasy back? If you look at his production in his eight games as a starter (803 yards rushing/7 TDs), he proved he could put up big numbers. Now the job is his and they've improved their offensive line some so Jones looks to have a chance to be a pretty solid fantasy back. He's not real big physically so you have to question if he can hold up over a full 16-game season but the talent looks to be there. The bottom line is you probably should draft him to be your second back, not your first just to be safe.

5. Is their fantasy defense worthy of starter status? There's no question that their defense looks to be improved, at least on paper. They addressed their problems in the secondary, defensive line, and at linebacker. But how quickly the additions (DT Jason Ferguson, rookies DL Marcus Spears and OLB Demarcus Ware, and CB Anthony Henry) gel together remains to be seen so it will probably take a decent amount of time to happen.

You're probably better off drafting them as a backup and bye week replacement at this point but they have the potential to be much better than that.

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