Despite Drop Blake Jarwin Emerging for Cowboys Passing Game

With all the questions surrounding the Dallas Cowboys offense this season, perhaps the biggest has been about the tight end group. The Cowboys have been waiting for their tight ends to make a significant impact this season and finally someone has stepped up. That someone is second year Tight End Blake Jarwin.

The Dallas Cowboys front office always believed Jarwin could be a productive player for them. They promoted him from the practice squad during the 2017 season when Philadelphia attempted to sign him.

Over the last two weeks, Jarwin has caught 11 passes for 101 yards and has become a favorite target of Dak Prescott’s.

Against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 14, Jarwin caught seven passes for 56 yards. In the week 15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts Blake Jarwin was targeted by Prescott seven times, which tied Amari Cooper and Cole Beasley for second in the team behind Ezekiel Elliott. Jarwin’s four catches were also tied with Cooper and Beasley for second as well.

Jarwin has had a couple really nice games in a row. He dropped an important pass on Sunday that could have put the Cowboys in good position to score later in the drive, but even on the drop he showed a ton of athleticism that should have Cowboys Nation excited about his potential.

In 2018, the biggest flaw in the Cowboys offense has been their inability to score touchdowns. You can look at the offensive line decline, the quarterback’s indecisiveness, or the play calling, but one major reason is they don’t have a big athletic presence that they can throw to down in the red zone. Well, I think we’ve seen from Jarwin that he can be that guy, if they decide to target him there.

Jarwin’s shown good route running and good hands on third downs, but hasn’t become a focal point in the area that matters most. In general, he’s probably the fifth option on most passing plays behind Cooper, Michael Gallup, Beasley, and Elliott, but he could be the cure for what plagues the Cowboys inside the 20 yard line.

I know we’re all frustrated with his drop from Sunday, but we should also be encouraged and excited as well. When was the last time that the Cowboys had a tight end that displayed the athleticism Jarwin revealed on that play? Gavin Escobar, maybe? Jarwin needs to become a focal point in the red zone passing game moving forward, because he gives you box out options, a target up the seem, as well as someone who can run Jason Witten’s “Y-Option.”

He’s not at all a finished product, but Jarwin’s showing why the Dallas cowboys front office was so intrigued with him as an UDFA out of Oklahoma State. With him gaining more and more experience, it’s time to unleash him around the goal line. With all the attention on Cooper, Beasley, and Elliott inside the red zone, Jarwin could be the player to open things up for everyone else if Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan make him a focal point.

With the playoffs approaching the Cowboys offense needs to fix their red zone issues if they have any hopes of being anything more than a one and done. With Blake Jarwin’s size and athleticism, he’s the hero we need right now.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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  1. The key words in this article are Linehan USING HIM IN THE REDZONE. Linehan seems to have a problem using young players who prove themselves between the 20 yard lines while ignoring them on plays in the Red Zone. And really, the drop that killed us in the last game was Olawale’s, not Jarwins.That easy, sure TD would have given us huge momentum and who knows what would have happened after that? I can’t wait until they get rid of our current OC. Our rookie TE, Dalton Schultz is another big target who has been playing well but is seemingly not in the game plan when it comes to the Red Zone. Both these players, and Swaim when he’s healthy are great big basketball type players who can block out defenders and catch the ball. I just don’t get why Linehan doesn’t utilize these players more. There has to be like an 85% success rate for TEs drifting into the flat and sitting down wide open in a Zone defense. It was Witten’s bread and butter play but he could run almost any route and get open, which is why he was so special. The other thing that really makes no sense to me is only having two RBs active on game days. We have a talented RB named Darius Jackson who, at 6’ & 220 lbs. is on our PS who should be suiting up EVERY game and worked into the game. He has speed, good hands and is a decent blocker. Zeke can’t continue to carry the load he’s been carrying unless they don’t care if he has a short career. He’s a beast but the wear and tear on his body is taking its toll and is starting to affect his speed. I love Zeke but I would hate for his career to parallel Marion Barber’s, which is what I see happening. Not only does Zeke never avoid contact (like Emmitt) but he usually initiates it. It makes him exciting to watch but will shorten his career. And please a God, get us a QB Coach who can help Dak progress instead of regress. If a good backup QB, like Nick Foles becomes available we should grab him. If we had, he’d be starting for us by now and we’d be winning like Philly did last year after Wentz went down for the season. Dak knows he has NO competition against him on the team and competition keeps players hungry and sharp. Jimmy understood this but apparently Garrett and Jones do not. Jones will give Dak a big contract he hasn’t earned (sound familiar?) and we will be stuck with him for years.

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