For the better part of the last decade-plus, the one position the Dallas Cowboys didn’t have too worry about was tight end. That’s where Jason Witten was going to play, and start, all 16 games. No questions asked.
As Witten has aged, however, the Cowboys have struggled to replicate the level of production they once saw from that position. Witten is no longer himself, and his place on the 2020 roster is certainly in question under new head coach Mike McCarthy.
Dallas is going to have to look long and hard at available tight ends, as they simply don’t have the talent nor the numbers on the current roster to feel comfortable going into week one of next season.
But where can the Cowboys find their next tight end?
It doesn’t look like the draft is the answer here. Unlike 2019’s class, this year’s tight end class is weak. There’s no clear run away favorite prospect, and there’s definitely no one you’d consider taking 17th overall.
This tight end class. It’s gross.
Now, there could be late round answers to the Cowboys’ tight end questions. Someone like Dayton’s Adam Trautman could provide solid depth as a rookie, providing a jolt of athleticism and youth to the position group. But is Trautman going to start and contribute on a “win-now” roster in 2020? The jury is certainly out on that one.
They could also take a look at the free agent class. After all, there’s some big names available. Eric Ebron, Jordan Reed, Austin Hooper, Jimmy Graham: all guys who have had tremendous success at some point in their careers as a pass catching tight end.
The 2020 unrestricted free agent tight end group is led by: Austin Hooper, Hunter Henry (tag candidate), Eric Ebron, Jimmy Graham, Tyler Eifert, Jason Witten and Jordan Reed (health permitting). https://t.co/yzSFldhBPT
But with the amount of cash the Cowboys will be dealing out to their own free agents, and their usual bargain bin shopping tendencies, it’s to hard to imagine they swing for the fences at a position they’ve largely ignored as of late. Plus, some of those names really aren’t as attractive as the may seem.
So where does that leave us? With Blake Jarwin, that’s where.
Jarwin is only 25 years old and has shown flashes that he could be the athletic receiving threat fans have yearned for at the tight end position. He clearly has a chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott that Jason Witten lacked in 2019, and had a career best 31 catches for 365 yards and 3 touchdowns last season.
Blake Jarwin is far from a household name that a Jimmy Graham is, but his youth and fit in the Cowboys offense could make him one shorty.
Still, tight end remains an area of improvement for the Cowboys during the 2020 offseason.