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Fantasy football IDP targets from the NFC East: Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Blake Martinez and more

In this weekly series, we're exploring every NFL team’s defense to provide in-depth fantasy football analysis for key IDPs. We'll focus on projected depth charts, what each IDP’s role will be heading into the 2020 NFL season and what we can expect from them for fantasy purposes. Plus, we'll cover a bonus name to watch for each team.

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We’ve covered the AFC North, NFC North, AFC South and NFC South. Now we head to the NFC East, where the Cowboys offer two top-tier linebacker options.

DALLAS COWBOYS

DEFENSIVE LINE

The Cowboys’ D-line presents a number of interesting IDPs to consider in the mid- to late rounds of drafts, starting with Demarcus Lawrence. “D-Law” hit some IDP regression last year, posting only six sacks after racking up 13 and 15 over the past two seasons. Lawrence also saw his total tackle numbers decrease from the 50 to 60 tackles per year range to just 41 last season. Lawrence will continue to be the Cowboys' top option off the edge, but we have to lower our expectations. I’d expect him to remain in the area of DE12-15 as opposed to the top-10 option he was in previous seasons.

Dallas also brings in Gerald McCoy at DT, who is now on his second team in as many years after nine seasons in Tampa Bay. The best thing about McCoy at this point is his consistency — since the 2015 season, McCoy has played around 700-800 snaps per season and has posted between six to nine sacks each year. While he may be getting older, his effectiveness has kept him in plenty of IDP lineups, and that should continue in 2020 as he comes in as a top-20 consensus DT for the year.

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