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Does James Hanna’s Retirement Make TE a Draft Priority?

The depth at the position took a little bit of a hit this past Friday when announced to the world that he planned on retiring. The Cowboys will now move him to the reserve/retired list, thus creating questions as to who will be 's primary backup in 2018?

Before James Hanna's announcement, it was rumored he could end up getting cut to get some salary-cap relief. The Cowboys fortunately didn't have to make that decision, but Hanna's retirement has the same impact on the salary-cap as it would have if it would've been released.

The downside of all of this is that the Dallas Cowboys now have to find out who will now become their backup tight end this season. This is definitely an important decision because Jason Witten is no longer the threat he once was, and his age could make him start becoming susceptible to , although he has been an Iron Man the majority of his career.

I don't know about you, but there's really not anybody currently on the Cowboys roster who inspires a lot of confidence. will likely step into James Hanna's vacated role behind Jason Witten, but the depth behind him creates more questions than answers.

The Dallas Cowboys are supposedly pretty high on , but he will be entering his second year and hasn't really received a lot of playing time as of yet. Then, there is , a fan favorite, who flashed his ability in last year.

Rico Gathers, Rams
Dallas Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

Gathers mere size and athletic ability makes him a mismatch against anybody who tries to cover him, but I just don't know how committed he is to his football career. He seems much more focused on trying to become a rapper than he does improving his craft. Hopefully, that's not the case and he can take the next step in his development.

The Dallas Cowboys current situation at the tight end position is a little depressing. In fact, I really think it's holding the Cowboys back and it's past time to do some upgrading.

Fortunately, there is an event happening this week that could improve the entire tight end position… the 2018 . If the Dallas Cowboys weren't planning on drafting a tight end before James Hanna's retirement, they should seriously consider it now.

Jason Witten isn't going to play forever and if he was to get injured, the Cowboys offense would seriously be in trouble. We all know he's not the player he once was, but he is still the best and most dependable option currently on the roster.

Unfortunately, we witnessed firsthand just how bad things can get when a starter goes down and the depth behind them isn't capable of stepping in and handling the job. That is why the Dallas Cowboys should have a better contingency plan in place if something were to happen to Witten.

The good news is that this year's TE draft class is pretty deep and the Dallas Cowboys should be able to take one to not only replace James Hanna, but hopefully become Witten's successor as well.

Should the Dallas Cowboys draft a tight end?

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Travis Diggs

James Hanna being here or not really didn’t change anything. The cowboys can’t continue to ignore the TE position. Jason Witten is at the end of the road, What do we honestly know about Rico, Jarwin, and Swaim. All the dangerous offenses have a difference maker at TE

Brian Martin

I completely agree Travis. It’s time to find a more athletic TE.

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Chuck Wright

Hard to think TE wasn’t a priority. Think (hope) they have one targeted between rounds 3-5.

Brian Martin

There should be some available in that range. Hopefully they can find their future starter.

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Reynaldo Laporte

I admit I cringe when I think of all the resources they have spent at the TE position that didn’t pan out. When I think about though it wasn’t for lack of talent but the coaching staff never utilized them properly or were caught up in a scheme change a la Hanna, Escobar.

Bennett was the last TE that we had who was given plenty of opportunities. We need a guy who can play inline and keep defenses honest.

Brian Martin

I don’t know if we need an in-line TE if the offensive scheme is changing to more of a spread offense. Spread offenses don’t utilize a TE very much.

Reynaldo Laporte

We’ll see Mr. Martin. I guess I’m old school, for whatever reason I can’t get with TE’s that aren’t able to block.

Brian Martin

I completely agree, but it’s the way the college game has transitioned and it’s working its way into the NFL. That’s why we see a lot more “move” tight ends, who are really nothing more than just big WRs.

Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Brian Martin
Brian Martin

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