The Dallas Cowboys‘ season may be just about over as it was 4:20 EST when the news broke.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo has been ruled out the rest of the season due to his back injury, per league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2013
As a result Kyle Orton will start in place of Tony Romo. Romo looked like he injured his knee during the game as he was seen limping and not able to complete handoffs. However, it is his back that will keep him out of the Week 17 de facto NFC East title game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
From a fantasy perspective, Dez Bryant‘s value drops significantly. Bryant has scored in four straight games, but despite the Eagles letting Brandon Marshall score on Sunday, Bryant will be held without a touchdown this week. Bryant had eight receptions for 110 yards the last time these two teams played.
The Cowboys’ fate rests in the hands of one player, DeMarco Murray. Murray has been on a tear since the Week 11 bye with 95 fantasy points and three games of 20 or more points. The Eagles did hold Matt Forte to 29 rushing yards, but the Bears were forced to abandon the run early. Murray has 75 carries, 439 yards and five touchdowns in his last four games.
Murray is a top-10 fantasy running back, and the Eagles are still a poor rush defense, allowing four touchdowns in Weeks 14 and 15 combined. In order for the Cowboys to win the division, they need to keep Philly off of the field for as long as possible. The only way to do that is to feed Murray six to eight times a drive.
Fantasy owners were starting Murray before the Romo news, but now there is no question to start him. If you own Murray you should be excited to start him in Week 17. Expect Murray to get 20-25 carries, 150 yards and a score as many owners look to Murray for a huge game.