Player Outlook
The Cowboys DST should be considered among the best Fantasy options this season and is worth drafting with a late-round pick in all leagues. In 2022, the Dallas defense was among the leaders in points allowed (19.1), sacks (54), fumbles (17), interceptions (16) and DST touchdowns (three). Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence are a formidable pass rush, and the addition of Stephon Gilmore opposite Trevon Diggs at corner gives Dallas a tough secondary. The Cowboys DST could be the best Fantasy unit this season, so plan to target the Cowboys DST in all leagues on Draft Day.

Fantasy News

  • Cowboys' Johnathan Hankins: Starts 14 games for Dallas

    Hankins racked up 27 tackles (13 solo), including 3.0 sacks, and two pass breakups across 14 regular-season appearances with the Cowboys in 2023. Hankins missed three games down the stretch due to a high-ankle sprain, and he otherwise was unspectacular for Dallas while on the field. Now a pending unrestricted free agent and heading into his age-32 season, Hankins isn't necessarily a lock to secure another starting role for the 2024 campaign. His best prospects might be to re-sign with the Cowboys on a team-friendly deal.
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  • Cowboys' Malik Hooker: Reliable again in 2023

    Hooker racked up 50 tackles (27 solo), three pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery across 16 regular-season games with the Cowboys. Hooker has stayed mostly healthy across three seasons with Dallas and in that span ingratiated himself as one of the key members of the team's three-man safety rotation, alongside Jayron Kearse and Donovan Wilson. Hooker looks set for a similar role in the Cowboys secondary for the 2024 campaign, after which the team will have a potential 'out' from the 27-year-old's contract.
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  • Cowboys' Jourdan Lewis: Free agency ahead

    Lewis recorded 52 tackles (36 solo), five pass breakups, one interception, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries across 16 regular-season games with the Cowboys in 2023. Lewis missed Week 1 after sitting out all of training camp and the preseason while recovering from a Lisfranc injury, but he then appeared in all remaining 16 regular-season games for Dallas, operating as the backup to DaRon Bland and Stephon Gilmore. Now a pending unrestricted free agent, Lewis will likely have to search for a similar backup role elsewhere in the league.
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  • Cowboys' Stephon Gilmore: Has shoulder surgery

    Gilmore (shoulder) had surgery after the Cowboys' season ended, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. The 12th-year veteran is set to become a free agent, and he will likely need 4-to-6 months to recover, per Archer. At the same time, Gilmore should be available for training camp. The cornerback made a career-best 68 tackles in 2023 to go along with 13 passes defensed, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
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  • Cowboys' Sam Williams: Teases upside in 2023

    Williams recorded 26 tackles (15 solo) including 4.5 sacks while adding a forced fumble over 17 regular-season games in 2023. A second-round pick in 2022, Williams split his time between the pass rush and punt-blocking duties, seeing 287 snaps on defense and 295 on special teams, and he made an impact in each area. The Ole Miss product hasn't had a chance to really shine as an edge rusher yet in the NFL, but his time could be coming in 2024. Dorance Armstrong, who piled up 16.0 sacks over the last two seasons, will likely depart in free agency, leaving a vacancy as the primary pass-rushing complement to Micah Parsons.
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  • Cowboys' Dorance Armstrong: Another productive campaign

    Armstrong recorded 38 tackles (20 solo) including 7.5 sacks with a pass defended over 17 regular-season games in 2023. The 26-year-old defensive end finished second on the Cowboys in sacks behind Micah Parsons' 14.0, taking full advantage of all the attention his All-Pro teammate received. Armstrong has emerged as a solid complementary piece in the Dallas pass rush, racking up 21.0 sacks over the last three campaigns and not missing a game over the last two, and he's set up for a big payday as a free agent this offseason.
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  • Cowboys' DeMarcus Lawrence: Quiet season off edge

    Lawrence recorded 50 tackles (29 solo) including 4.0 sacks while adding six passes defended and a forced fumble over 17 regular-season games in 2023. The veteran defensive end played every game for the second straight campaign, but Lawrence just doesn't have the ability to get to the quarterback the way he used to. He would carry a dead cap hit of over $20 million if he were released this offseason, so Lawrence will likely return to Dallas in 2024, but he's nothing more than a depth piece in a pass rush led by Micah Parsons at this stage of his career.
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  • Cowboys' DaRon Bland: Record-setting 2023 campaign

    Bland recorded 69 tackles (53 solo) and added a league-high nine interceptions -- including an NFL record five pick-sixes -- on 15 passes defended over 17 regular-season games in 2023. The Cowboys lost Trevon Diggs in Week 2 to ACL surgery, forcing Bland into the top coverage corner role on the defense, but the 2022 fifth-round pick thrived with the additional responsibilities. Diggs should be healthy to begin 2024, but the ball-hawking reputations of both CBs could be put to the test if defensive coordinator Dan Quinn leaves in the offseason, forcing Bland to learn a new scheme for the first time in his career.
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  • Cowboys' Stephon Gilmore: Career-best tackle total in 2023

    Gilmore recorded a career-high 68 tackles (54 solo) while adding two interceptions on 13 passes defended plus a forced fumble over 17 regular-season games in 2023. The 33-year-old cornerback showed he still has plenty left in the tank while not missing a game for the first time since 2019. Gilmore is a free agent this offseason and isn't guaranteed to be back in Dallas, as the Cowboys have younger options in DaRon Bland and Trevon Diggs (knee) to handle the starting jobs on the outside, but the veteran's savvy and coverage skills should still give him plenty of suitors.
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  • Cowboys' Jayron Kearse: Useful cog in Dallas defense

    Kearse recorded 72 tackles (48 solo) including 1.5 sacks while adding one interception on four passes defended over 16 regular-season games in 2023. The 29-year-old has become a dependable option on the back end in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's scheme, with the three highest tackle totals of his career coming during his three seasons with Dallas. Kearse hasn't seen enough snaps the last couple campaigns to be a true IDP asset, though, and the potential departure of Quinn could leave his role in limbo heading into 2024.
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  • Cowboys' Donovan Wilson: Solid numbers in 2023

    Wilson recorded 88 tackles (55 solo) while adding three passes defended (two interceptions), one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries over 15 regular-season games in 2023. The 28-year-old safety missed the first two games of the year with a calf injury and didn't start seeing a full workload until Week 5, but Wilson was his usual tackling machine self down the stretch, with 53 of his stops coming in the Cowboys' final seven regular-season games. He's thrived in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's scheme, but Wilson's 2024 outlook could take a hit if Quinn takes a head coaching job elsewhere this offseason.
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  • Cowboys' Markquese Bell: Breaks out in second season

    Bell recorded 94 tackles (60 solo) while adding four passes defended and two forced fumbles over 17 regular-season games in 2023. The undrafted second-year safety out of Florida A&M began the season splitting his time between a depth role on defense and special teams, but Bell moved into a starting role Week 6 and never looked back. He filled the hybrid linebacker/safety role that had previously made an IDP asset out of players like Keanu Neal in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn's system, so Bell's 2024 outlook could depend heavily on whether Quinn returns to Dallas next season or takes a head coaching job elsewhere.
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  • Cowboys' Damone Clark: Career-high 109 tackles in 2023

    Clark recorded a career-high 109 tackles (70 solo) while adding three passes defended and a fumble recovery over 17 regular-season games in 2023. He added eight more stops in a wild-card loss to the Packers. A fifth-round pick in 2022 due to back surgery that significantly impacted his draft stock, Clark looked 100 percent recovered as he played in every game for the Cowboys and took over an every-down role for most of the year. Leighton Vander Esch still has one season left on his contract, but he played only five games in 2023 and would be an easy cut to save cap space, potentially putting the speedy Clark in a starting role right from Week 1 next season.
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  • Cowboys' Micah Parsons: Another big season

    Parsons recorded 64 tackles (36 solo) including 14.0 sacks with two passes defended, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery over 17 regular-season games in 2023. The versatile pass rusher delivered at least 13.0 sacks for the third straight season to begin his NFL career, finishing tied for seventh in the league with Myles Garrett. Parsons remains a threat to take down the QB on every play, but the potential departure of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn this offseason could force the 24-year-old linebacker to learn a new scheme for the first time in his career in 2024.
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  • Cowboys' Stephon Gilmore: Will play vs. Packers

    Gilmore (shoulder) does not carry an injury designation into Sunday's game versus the Packers, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. As expected, Gilmore will suit up for Dallas in the wild-card round. He figures to see a healthy dose of Christian Watson (hamstring) and Romeo Doubs on the boundaries come Sunday.
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  • Cowboys' Stephon Gilmore: Back at practice Thursday

    Gilmore (shoulder) was a limited participant at practice Thursday, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports. Per Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News, coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that he expects Gilmore will play Sunday, and his presence at practice Thursday lends credence to that confidence. If he is able to upgrade to full participation Friday, he could avoid carrying an injury designation into the weekend.
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  • Cowboys' Stephon Gilmore: Not practicing Wednesday

    Gilmore (shoulder) is not participating at practice Wednesday, Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News reports. Per Gehlken, coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that the expectation is Gilmore will play Sunday even though he probably won't practice during the week. That doesn't seem like a guarantee, though, so it will still be worth watching his status as Dallas' wild-card game approaches.
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  • Cowboys' Stephon Gilmore: Still on track for Sunday

    Gilmore (shoulder) is unlikely to practice until Saturday, according to head coach Mike McCarthy, but he's still expected to play Sunday against the Packers, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports. Gilmore avoided any significant damage to his shoulder when he suffered the injury Week 18 against the Commanders. He also told reporters after the game he would play in the wild-card round, even before the MRI results were back. However, this is the first confirmation from McCarthy that will likely be the case, which is good news for the Cowboys' secondary.
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  • Cowboys' DaRon Bland: Nabs league-leading ninth pick

    Bland recorded three tackles (two solo) and intercepted his ninth pass of the season in Sunday's win over the Commanders. The nine picks led the NFL, but Bland fell a little short in his quest to challenge the Cowboys' franchise record of 11, set by Everson Walls in 1981 and tied by Trevon Diggs (knee) in 2021. Diggs played only 98 snaps this season before needing surgery to repair a torn ACL, but he should be fully recovered to begin the 2024 campaign, giving Dallas two of the preeminent ballhawks in the league in its secondary.
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  • Cowboys' Micah Parsons: New career high in sacks

    Parsons recorded five tackles (four solo), including a sack, in Sunday's win over the Commanders. The takedown of Sam Howell gave Parsons his 14th sack of the season, a new career high after he racked up 13 as a rookie in 2021 and 13.5 last season. He tied Myles Garrett for seventh in the league, and Parsons' remarkable consistency has marked him as one of the NFL's elite defenders and pass rushers. He'll take aim at Jordan Love when the Cowboys face the Packers on Sunday in the wild-card round.
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