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Liz Loza and Matt Harmon examine the problems plauging the Dallas backfield and how they'll fare with in the games to come.
Hear the full conversation on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
LIZ LOZA: This was a stinker. The spread on this was 11 and 1/2. And Dallas was able to cover indeed, but Dak's still looked shaky. In fact, Ian Hartitz on Twitter tweeted out averages before and after that mid-season calf injury that you mentioned on FFL actually, which was in week 7. And his PFF passing grades have dipped significantly.
His total touchdowns have gone down. His interceptions have gone up. His YPA has dipped from 8.4 to 6.5.
So there's obviously something going on. And also, Tyron Smith wasn't in the lineup. And we know what a difference maker his left tackle is when on the field for Dak.
MATT HARMON: Yeah, 28/37 for Dak Prescott, 5.9 yards per attempt in this game. And I think the biggest thing that I've heard, like listening to, you know, former quarterback, smart people that cover quarterbacks talk about, like when these guys are injured, even if like, OK, we think, you know, Dak is playing with the calf injury, like he's not going to be as athletic or whatever, it's not really about that. It's the same thing with like, oh, Baker Mayfield's had this shoulder injury all season long. It's not on his throwing shoulder. Oh, that shouldn't bother him.
But it's like when, you know, your banged up like that, you think about it all the time. Like when you drop back, you're like, oh, like it hitches or whatever. Then it's like part of your mental process. You're just not playing at the height of your powers basically.
And I think that makes a lot of sense, even if it's not in the way that we would think that a calf injury would hold you back. But yeah, I mean Dallas right now is a defensive-oriented team. I think that's where they're at.
Zeke in the backfield is-- you know, he leads the team in touches by 4. There were some headlines like Corey Clement might figure into the rotation. That did not happen, but Tony Pollard was back, had seven yards per carry. Like this is the best case scenario for Zeke at this point is like 50 yards, and he gets in the end zone, boom. You're feeling pretty good about that.
LIZ LOZA: But that's part of the frustration with Zeke and Pollard if Pollard is going to continue to play with the foot issue is that we know that Pollard is the more explosive option, but we also know that Elliott has the goal line equity. And so you can't rank him outside of your top 15 every single week, because who else is scoring touchdowns regularly?
MATT HARMON: No, I mean, yeah, you can't really change the rankings too much. I think like there just is what it is at that point. You just know that Zeke is, you know, depending on your options, probably a guy you can just try to risk that touchdown on.
And this was like as clean of a week I think as it's going to get. It's like, oh, they're heavy favorites against a crappy team in New York. You know, the next few weeks they get Washington. Then they get Arizona. Then they get the Eagles.
We'll see what state Washington is. They're getting some defensive linemen off the COVID list heading into, you know, into Tuesday game, but we'll see, you know, for next week, whatever, how that looks. Arizona's been leaky as a run defense, but you know we'll see about that. And then the Eagles, obviously, we'll see what they're even playing for in week 18.
Like Dallas feels like a team that they got a problem. Like I think if the Eagles in Washington tie, which is not going to happen, but like if they-- most likely, who knows at this point. But yeah, you can never say never.
But if they tie this week, Dallas wins the NFC East. And then obviously I think if they-- you know, depending on next week, they can wrap up the NFC South. Like they feel like a team that needs to wrap this thing up as soon as possible and rest some starters in week 17 and week 18.