Even before Jason Witten’s retirement it was perceived that the Cowboys should work on finding the heir to the right end throne. Instead of using the draft to find their tight end of the future, they signed one off the streets to their practice squad. Even when he was on the practice squad back in 2017, there was excitement about his potential internally. It wouldn’t be until the end of 2018 that we caught a glimpse of just what Blake Jarwin could be.
Now, with nothing standing in his way, Jarwin has a huge opportunity to shine and there’s no reason to believe he can’t fulfill that potential.
Blake Jarwin’s ascended into the spotlight as the starting tight end for the Dallas Cowboys, taking over for a future inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While targets vacated by one player don’t automatically transfer over to their replacement, Blake Jarwin is going to see the football in the Dallas Cowboys offense. Of that, there should be no concern.
I found this nugget from DallasCowboys.com’s practice notes from Cowboys Night particularly interesting.
“Easily the highlight of the night came when Dak Prescott led the offense on a two-minute drill toward the tail end of practice. Prescott guided his group roughly 65 yards in eight plays – all of them completions. He started things off with a short out to CeeDee Lamb, then found tight ends on five consecutive completions. Following that, a short dump off to Ezekiel Elliott put them just inside the red zone. From there, Noah Brown got behind his coverage on a flag route and Prescott found him for the best completion of the night – a touchdown.”
You read that right. Five consecutive completions to the tight ends during the two-minute drill towards the end of practice. Sure, Amari Cooper didn’t participate and it doesn’t say who got those targets. However, five consecutive targets on the two-minute drill are indicative of Dak Prescott’s willingness to spread the ball around.
In 2019, Blake Jarwin only played on 39% of the offensive snaps and still saw 41 targets. That’s one target every 10 snaps. If he played 70% of the offensive snaps from 2019 at his 2019 target rate that would put him at about 74 targets on the season last year. 70-80 targets in 2020 is a reasonable estimate for Jarwin’s potential production. And that’s if he only plays 70% of the snaps.
The thing with Blake Jarwin is that he doesn’t need a lot of targets to make a significant impact on the stat sheet. His ability to make things happen after the catch, his ability to play down the field, and his impressive 75.3% career catch rate makes him an incredibly dynamic and efficient target for Dak Prescott to involve in the passing game.
With the talent the Dallas Cowboys will deploy at wide receiver this year Jarwin may not see 100 targets like some of the top tight ends in the NFL in 2020. However, their presence will also lead to high-quality targets for Jarwin against prime matchups. Teams will be forced to cover Blake Jarwin with a linebacker so they aren’t sacrificing coverage deep with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb to worry about.
And from what we’ve seen from Dak Prescott in his four years in the NFL is that he’ll spread the ball around to his receiving targets. In 2019, the Cowboys had five players with more than 70 targets. Jarwin was sixth with his 41 targets. While it’s possible that the Cowboys aren’t throwing it as much, especially if they’re playing with more leads, Blake Jarwin will still get his targets.
Blake Jarwin has regularly stood out in practice during Dallas Cowboys training camp. In nearly every post practice report we hear of Jarwin’s success in the passing game. Even if he is just the fourth or fifth option in the passing offense, he’s going to make a big impact for the Dallas Cowboys.