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Cowboys Draft: Evaluating the Need for a Tight End

has become a very intriguing position in Dallas. For the first time in 15 years, the Cowboys went through a season without lining up with the in 2018. Instead, and took over and didn't contribute much to a struggling offense. They both had a few flashes here and there, but TE production wasn't really special for the Cowboys last season. Now, Witten is back from and he'll work with the younger guys to upgrade the offense.

However, tight end still feels like a team need at this point. Jason Witten will be 37 years old when the season begins. His speed was a problem during the last years of his career and that problem will likely show on the field now that he's back. The Cowboys made a good decision bringing him back, but he's clearly not a long-term answer.

Jason Witten, FOX Sports, and the Future at Tight End for the Dallas Cowboys
TE Jason Witten (James D. Smith / Dallas Cowboys)

It seems like Witten will get the starts, but don't expect Blake Jarwin to have no say on who's the most important TE on the team. Jarwin didn't have the best stats in 2018 but, how could he? There were only three games last season in which he was targeted more than three times. In those games, he had 229 yards, including a three touchdown performance versus the (when he was targeted eight times).

With taking over as the , tight ends might be more involved on the Cowboys offense than in previous years. If that's the case, the Cowboys will have Jason Witten, Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz on the roster. All three of these guys will be able to contribute. Schultz is the one who's still unproven, but he did a decent job as a rookie both as a blocker and as a receiver on the rare occasions a ball was thrown his way.

We talk about drafting a tight end for the future when the Cowboys might see their future in Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz. These two along with Jason Witten are virtual locks to make the roster. The Cowboys would need to carry four tight ends for it to make sense to draft one in the first place.

Fortunately, the Cowboys have done something at pretty much every position of need this , giving them flexibility to take a “best player available” in April. I truly won't be surprised if the doesn't prioritize the need for a young TE. If they do, let's hope they get a very good one.

Mauricio Rodriguez
Mauricio Rodriguez
I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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Chuck Wright

Odd article. Claims to be about the draft, says nothing of the candidates potentially available.

My #1 issue, is if we are building a team for Garrett, he likes TEs to be extra OLs or check down guys. Of course re-signing the FB for 3 years is also odd to me

Who we need is someone like Jace Sternberger of A&M. He’s a 250 lbs TE who is very effective in the passing game.

Zeke doesn’t really need a lead blocker though would benefit from more use of play action.

James A. Howerton

Actually, I think Schultz and Jarwin deserve a chance to prove that they can develop and do the job of being the starting TE. Jarwin did have an excellent game in the last game of the season and Schultz was a rookie last year, so he hasn’t really had much time to develop. The current off-season should improve both their knowledge of the offense, strength and technique. Except for RB, I wouldn’t expect any player to come in and be a dominant player in his first year. And this season Shultz will have the opportunity to learn OJT from Witten, which will hopefully help and not retard his development. For all of these reasons I’d say TE isn’t an immediate need unless they feel like a no-miss TE falls to our first pick in the 2nd round. Except there’s no such thing as a “no-miss” player.

Ethan Chazin

Good points Chuck & James. Bringing witten back makes really little sense, he’s an impediment to the young TEs development, Dak now has a bona fide deep talent wr group so wittens’ receiving contributions will be limited, frederick coming back will help with blocking so why bring back witten? Help coach the young guys….? Puh-leeze! If he didn’t do it before, he won’t now. His physical abilities will be limited. I find the move very odd and perhaps desperate. This team has failed for a very VERY long time to cultivate young TEs.


Mauricio, the Cowboys do NOT need another God- damned tight end… They already have THREE OF THEM who catch the ball well–particularly Blake Jarwin who caught THREE touchdown passes including a gorgeous 39 yarder in week 17 against the Giants in New York, or have you already forgotten that??? Recall, too, that Dak Prescott said that he and Blake regularly text and huddle with each other off the field to compare notes on specific plays in order to see if they were on the same page as to what the defense was trying to do to them on various sequences. That means they’re in the process of developing a rapport with each other which extends beyond the field… In fewer words, the Cowboys have more pressing needs at other positions like the O-Line–since THREE of their former All-Pros have serious physical issues which have already hampered their effectiveness–as well as the effectiveness of the entire offense. We’re also paper thin on the other side of the ball at defensive tackle and defensive end. We have exactly ONE reliable, game-changing player there in DeMarcus Lawrence who’s coming off shoulder surgery and a talented, but demented, head case in David Irving who couldn’t be counted on to be on the fucking field for WHATEVER set of reasons and is now officially GONE because weed was apparently much more important to him than carving out a career as a down lineman…

As for your beloved Jason Witten who—at age 38 is a good four or five years past his athletic prime—the fact that Jerry Jones and his sock puppet coach Jason Garrett would even consider installing him as their premier tight end when he no longer has the strength, elusiveness or speed to run over, around or past would-be tacklers SPEAKS VOLUMES about the Cowboys’ decision makers’ stupidity…How do you justify stunting the development of the young tight ends you already have on your roster–particularly Jarwin– in order to bring someone back in Jason Witten who goes down the second a defender hits him (and too often short of the first down marker??) Are you high??

As far as I’m concerned Jerry Jones, Steve Jones and Jason Garrett all deserve each other…

Sta. Monica

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