It was revealed yesterday that Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin had hip surgery and could miss the beginning of the 2022 season. With Dalton Schultz’s impending free agency already a huge concern, this news makes the situation at TE even murkier for Dallas.
Jarwin was generally seen as an acceptable Plan B if Schultz wound up leaving this offseason. After all, Blake was the starter going into 2019 but was lost for the year with a torn ACL in Week One.
Some have suggested that Jarwin would have put up similar numbers to Schultz over the last two season with the same share of snaps and targets. That might have been a risk work taking had he been healthy, but now Blake’s surgery and recovery timetable may force the Cowboys to go another direction.
Michael Gehlken on Twitter: “In late February, Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin underwent surgery for a hip injury that is considered very uncommon for an active NFL player, source said. He is not expected to be available for the start of the 2022 season, clouding his Cowboys future. / Twitter”
In late February, Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin underwent surgery for a hip injury that is considered very uncommon for an active NFL player, source said. He is not expected to be available for the start of the 2022 season, clouding his Cowboys future.
Keeping Schultz, one of the NFL’s more statistically productive tight ends the last two years, won’t be cheap. Top players like George Kittle and Travis Kelce are making around $15 million per season and even lesser stars like Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith have contracts worth over $12 million annually.
The estimated cost of franchising a TE this year is $10.9 million. Given the number where Schultz’s contract demands could come in, that may be the best way for Dallas to deal with the situation if they prefer a one-season solution.
Reaching a long-term agreement with Dalton would give the Cowboys more cap flexibility. They could essentially sign him and then immediately restructure, dropping the base salary in 2022 and lowering his cap hit. But that would push more dead money into future years and make it harder to move on from Schultz later if needed.
The thought of letting Schultz walk in free agency and hopefully getting a compensatory pick in 2023, then drafting a new tight end this year, has been circling around. But that idea was predicated on the security blanket of Blake Jarwin, experienced in our system, being there to help the rookie ease into his future role.
Now the Cowboys have to consider a future without either of their top two tight ends from last year. It could force them to pay more than they’d like to keep Dalton Schultz and perhaps cost Jarwin, with $3.8 million in cap relief possible on his contract, his job going forward.
Tight end was already a problem area for the 2022 offseason. Unfortunately, Blake Jarwin’s hip surgery only further complicates matters.