There’s a lot to be excited about with the Dallas Cowboys offense heading into 2020. Much of it surrounds the addition of Head Coach Mike McCarthy, year two of Kellen Moore at offensive coordinator, and the recent addition of CeeDee Lamb at number 17 overall in the NFL Draft.
With the addition of Lamb, the Cowboys have arguably one of the best wide receiver trios in the NFL with Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup. While the focus has been on the wide receiver trio, there’s another pass catcher that’s primed for a breakout in 2020, tight end Blake Jarwin.
In 2019, Blake Jarwin only got 38% of the offensive snaps playing behind starter Jason Witten. Even with the limited snaps, he still had a productive season in the backup tight end role. Per Pro Football Reference, Jarwin received 41 targets and caught 31 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns.
Let’s say Jarwin was to get Jason Witten’s snaps from last season. At Jarwin’s snaps per target rate, he’d total about 84 targets. At his 2019 catch rate of 72.1%, Jarwin would hit 60 receptions. If he were to average 11.8 yards per reception as he did in 2019, he’d finish with around 714 receiving yards. 6.9% of Blake Jarwin’s targets went for a touchdown in 2019. At his 2019 touchdown rate over 84 targets, he’d score six touchdowns for the Dallas Cowboys. Based on 2019’s finish at the tight end position, Jarwin would finish among the top 10 tight ends in the NFL.
With his ability to make plays after the catch, Blake Jarwin can make more happen with fewer targets than someone like Jason Witten could. Jarwin averaged nearly twice as many yards after the catch per reception than Witten did in 2019. Per Pro Football Reference, Jason Witten only had five more yards after the catch than Blake Jarwin even though Witten received twice as many targets as Jarwin.
Blake Jarwin is a dynamic receiving threat that has the athleticism to stretch the field down the seam. That ability to make plays beyond ten yards will put a lot of pressure on opposing linebackers and safeties, which will help to open things up for the wide receivers and running backs in the short part of the field.
The Dallas Cowboys added Blake Bell in free agency and a couple of undrafted free agents at tight end, but not anyone that will threaten Jarwin’s snap count. Jarwin looks poised for a big season in 2020 as the Cowboys may play out of 11-personnel (3WR, 1RB, 1TE) 70% of the time or more, giving Jarwin ample opportunity to reward the Dallas Cowboys for signing him to a three-year extension this offseason.
The Dallas Cowboys offense is about to set the league on fire, and while all the attention will hone in on the Cowboys three-headed monster at wide receiver, Blake Jarwin is going to make a significant impact flying under the radar.