It's that time of the year for Fantasy Football, so let's play: Which division rival's best player would make the biggest impact on each team? Each season, when our team doesn't quite meet preseason expectations, we can't help but wonder, 'What if?'.
When we consider this exercise for the Dallas Cowboys and the NFC East, we have to first answer two questions: 1. What is the Cowboys' biggest deficiency?; 2. Which player in the division would most solve the problem?
Anyone who watched any Cowboys football in 2020 saw the glaring deficiencies. There were many. But one that stood out on the defensive side of the ball was the defensive line. You don't surrender 57 touchdowns playing sound defensive football.
There were, of course, other areas of need for the Cowboys in 2020 but the defensive line produced one of the worst run-stopping defenses in NFL history. So we'll start there.
Who could help?
It just so happens that arguably the best defensive player in the NFC East right now is Washington Football Team's Chase Young. A true star on the rise, he's the anchor of one of the best defensive lines in the league.
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If Young continues on his current path, Washington's defense will continue to improve and become elite. In fact, there might be 31 teams in the NFL that would trade defensive lines right now with WFT.
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The Cowboys are certainly among them. (Worth nothing: This same parlor game would surely have the WFT adding Dallas QB Dak Prescott ... maybe not a swap the Cowboys truly wish to make.)
What could Young bring to the Cowboys? Consider who he'd be playing with. As an opposing offensive line who are you going to double-team on the outside, Young or Demarcus Lawrence? That's a tough assignment either way. And when Young or Lawrence need a breather? Enter Randy Gregory. Gregory then becomes a "super sub" offering rest periods for both starters.
Of course, you'd still need to improve the interior line a bit, but for the sake of this admittedly cringe-worthy exercise, adding Young to this defense makes it immediately better. A deeper and more effective defensive line helps improve the linebackers and the secondary.
The defense as a whole improves with just one elite player added. Difficult to envision Young with a star on his helmet. But for the purposes of Fantasy Football, always delicious.
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