Keanu Neal

Keanu Neal

26-Year-Old LinebackerLB
Dallas Cowboys
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The former Falcons safety bounced back from two injury-plagued campaigns to record the third 100-tackle season of his career in 2020. In the offseason, he elected to follow Dan Quinn to Dallas in free agency on a one-year deal. Surprisingly, the Cowboys are listing Neal at linebacker on their initial depth chart, but Neal more likely will fill a hybrid role on passing downs rather than be true competition for the likes of Jaylon Smith and Micah Parsons near the line of scrimmage. Quinn knows how to put Neal in a position to succeed, but it's hard to see him becoming an IDP asset again until his usage becomes clearer. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#Subscriber-Only
IDP
$Signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Cowboys in March of 2021.
Activated off COVID-19 list
LBDallas Cowboys
October 6, 2021
The Cowboys activated Neal (illness) off the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday.
ANALYSIS
As expected, Neal has returned to the team and will practice Wednesday after missing the previous two games due to COVID-19 protocols. The 26-year-old linebacker played 98 defensive snaps and recorded nine tackles over the first two games of the season, but it's unclear if he will garner a full workload immediately.
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2021
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2021 NFL Game Log
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2020 NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Snap Counts
Snap %
Dallas CowboysCowboys 2021 LB Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
#% of Team Snaps

29728%
17770%
21020%
12850%
17617%
9537%
16015%
6224%
13413%
2711%
222%
114%
91%
52%
40%
00%
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2021 Keanu Neal Split Stats
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Measurables Review
How do Keanu Neal's measurables compare to other linebackers?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 1"
 
Weight
216 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.62 sec
 
Shuttle Time
4.38 sec
 
Cone Drill
7.09 sec
 
Vertical Jump
38.0 in
 
Broad Jump
132 in
 
Bench Press
17 reps
 
Hand Length
10.68 in
 
Arm Length
32.75 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Keanu Neal
Gameday Injuries: Week 5
10 days ago
Juan Carlos Blanco examines a busy Week 5 injury report and dishes the latest news on key players as of early Sunday morning.
Gameday Injuries: Week 4
17 days ago
Juan Carlos Blanco breaks down a Week 4 injury report that has no shortage of big names on it heading into Sunday morning.
NFL Game Previews: Raiders-Chargers Matchup
20 days ago
Erik Siegrist previews the Monday night matchup as Justin Herbert and the Chargers take on the Raiders in a key AFC West showdown.
Gameday Injuries: Week 3
24 days ago
Juan Carlos Blanco surveys the busy Week 3 injury landscape that has several big names on it heading into Sunday morning.
NFL Game Previews: Eagles-Cowboys Matchup
27 days ago
Erik Siegrist previews the Monday night game as Dak Prescott and the Cowboys play host to the division-rival Eagles.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
Few players offer as much IDP upside at defensive back as Neal does, but even fewer players have had worse injury luck in the past few years. Neal has generated 238 tackles while playing 2,171 defensive snaps in his career, which over a 1,000-snap sample projects to about 110 tackles. The problem is that Neal has played only 206 snaps since 2017 due to an ACL tear in Week 1 of 2018 and a torn Achilles' tendon in Week 3 of 2019. It seems like Neal almost has to stumble into some improved injury luck going forward, but his hard-hitting style of play invites concussion and shoulder-related concerns separate from his growing history of lower-body injuries. With that said, there's clear top-five defensive back IDP upside with Neal, and you probably can't say that about the other players in his price range.
Neal suffered an ACL tear Week 1 last year, but he should participate in most of training camp and therefore is immediately back on the elite IDP radar. He isn't much of a threat to intercept passes given that he had just one pick in his first 30 games, but 222 tackles, eight forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in that span more than make up for it. Neal is a notoriously hard hitter and probably brings high injury risk as a result, but he's capable of logging multiple 120-tackle seasons before his career is over.
There might not be a safety in the league that receivers fear more than Neal, who finds ballcarriers often and prevents plenty of completions by clobbering the intended target. It's unlikely that he'll ever be much of an interception source, and he's yet to post a sack in the NFL, but Neal has two seasons with triple-digit tackles in two tries. That's a remarkably high IDP floor for a safety, and it wouldn't be surprising if Neal approached 130 tackles at least once in his career.
If Neal's rookie season was any indication, he will be one of the league's top safeties in the near future. The 2016 first-round pick is already well above average, and he heads into his second season a strong candidate to go over triple-digit tackles. He did as much last year, and that was despite missing the first two games following a preseason knee scope. Neal isn't known for his playmaking in coverage and is unlikely to provide many interceptions, but he's already one of the league's most feared hitters after forcing five fumbles last year.
The 17th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft is expected to slide into the starting strong safety role right away. Neal brings a physical presence to a defense that struggled to get off the field in 2015, as teams converted 43 percent of their third downs against the Falcons. He should be in a prime spot to rack up defensive statistics assuming he can hold off Kemal Ishmael for Atlanta's starting job, giving him good potential in IDP leagues.
More Fantasy News
Returns to practice
LBDallas Cowboys
Illness
October 6, 2021
Neal (illness) will return to practice Wednesday, Jori Epstein of The Dallas Morning News reports.
ANALYSIS
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Expected back this week
LBDallas Cowboys
Illness
October 4, 2021
Neal (illness) is expected to make his return from the reserve/COVID-19 list this week, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Out for second straight week
LBDallas Cowboys
Illness
October 2, 2021
Neal (illness) remains in COVID-19 protocols and will miss Sunday's contest against the Panthers, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.
ANALYSIS
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Tests positive for COVID
LBDallas Cowboys
Illness
September 25, 2021
Neal has tested positive for COVID-19, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Considered high-risk contact
LBDallas Cowboys
Undisclosed
September 22, 2021
Neal (undisclosed) was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday as a high-risk contact, not because he tested positive, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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