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How Should Dallas Cowboys go About Replacing TE Jason Witten?

What’s the best way for the Dallas Cowboys to replace Jason Witten?

of the was likely Jason Witten’s last as a professional football player. There are rumors he may try to reunite with in New York as a tight end for the Giants, but I personally believe his playing days are over. That’s both good and bad news for the Dallas .

The Dallas Cowboys now have to find a suitable replacement for the future Hall of Famer. It’s going to be a little odd to see someone other than No. 82 as the primary tight end. Other than 2018, Jason Witten has been a consistent presence for the Cowboys for the better part of two decades. He won’t be easy to replace.

So, how should the Dallas Cowboys go about replacing Jason Witten? A ? ? The draft? A promotion for ? Let’s explore all the possibilities…

Free Agency

Eric Ebron

Free agency is a great way to add experienced players to the , but I don’t know if the Dallas Cowboys want to go this route to find Jason Witten’s successor. Surprisingly enough, he was just as productive as almost all of the current free agent tight ends on the open market right now. However, there are a few intriguing TEs the Cowboys could be interested in for the right price.

(Falcons) is arguably the best TE available, but as such his asking price will likely be out of the Cowboys range. Eric Ebron (Colts) is another intriguing option, but like Hooper, he’ll more than likely be too expensive. Then you have players like Hunter Henry (Chargers) and (Bengals). Both are starting caliber TEs, but they both also struggle remaining healthy. They could be more affordable, although their reliability is a concern.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe the Dallas Cowboys will find Jason Witten’s successor in free agency.


Hayden Hurst
TE Hayden Hurst

If I’m being completely honest, I think the Dallas Cowboys best way to replace Jason Witten is via trade. There are several talented, young tight ends around the league right now I believe the Cowboys could trade for. They are either buried on the with their current team or for whatever reason not being utilized enough.

(Buccaneers), (Browns), and Hayden Hurst (Ravens) are all TEs I think the Cowboys could possibly trade for this . Howard has found himself in Bruce Arians doghouse for whatever reason and the same could be said for Njoku in Cleveland. Hurst on the other hand is simply buried on the depth chart right now. I think all three are starting caliber TEs and arguably an upgrade over Jason Witten.

Compensation is likely the only hurdle from completing any one of these three trades in my opinion. Teams aren’t just going to give up talented players just because they aren’t starters. But, I believe each one of these TEs could possibly be acquired for a 2020 mid-round draft pick. It’s doubtful Dallas can find the same kind of talent with the same pick in this year’s .

2020 NFL Draft

Cheyenne O'Grady
Arkansas TE Cheyenne O’Grady

I have studied this year’s tight end draft class and quite honestly I’m not all that impressed. There could be a player, possibly two, that sneaks into the later part of the first-round, but I wouldn’t bet on it. As far as the Dallas Cowboys are concerned though, a first-round TE isn’t likely ranked that high on their to do list anyway.

Having said that though, this year’s TE draft class isn’t completely void of talent. There are a few players with starting potential, but that becomes less likely the further along we get into the draft. I honestly have a hard time seeing the a TE in rounds 1-3. That means they’d have to hit on a mid-round prospect with starting capability. That’s easier said than done.

Any mid-round TE the Dallas Cowboys could draft is going to come with some warts. Whether it’s off the field issues or some question marks about the prospects game, there are going to be red flags way or another. That doesn’t exactly scream starting potential and I don’t think the Cowboys are looking for another developmental prospect. They’ve gone that way before and failed.

Blake Jarwin Promotion?

Blake Jarwin
Dallas Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin

Could replacing Jason wouldn’t be as easy as handing over the reins to Blake Jarwin? I mean, he has shown flashes over the past few years of being a mismatch player in the , but is it enough? The old regime didn’t trust him enough to increase his playing time, will the new regime think differently?

I really like Blake Jarwin and would have loved to see him utilized more in 2019, but I don’t believe he is starting material. I think he is more of a big receiver then a tight end, and should be used as such. Splitting him out against smaller or less athletic linebackers is a matchup problem the Cowboys can exploit. But, as an in-line player he is a liability.

Promoting Blake Jarwin really depends on what the new coaching regime under is looking for from their starting TE. Are they looking for a complete player like Jason Witten or someone who can exploit match ups like Blake Jarwin? Unfortunately, we won’t know the answer two that until all the above moves are determined one way or the other.

How do you think the Dallas Cowboys should replace Jason Witten?

What do you think?

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Written by 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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  1. I totally agree. There’s zero chance that Dez signs and plays TE. I guess some people are getting this started because Dez mentioned he wished he was offered a role like Witten had but he didn’t mean actually playing TE, I can’t believe people even think that’s a possibility. The only way he would be brought back would be a 3rd or 4th WR and I doubt he would be willing to do that.

    • People can convince themselves of anything if they want to. As much as I’d love to see Dez Bryant return as a depth WR, I just don’t see it happening.

  2. Give Dez Bryant a shot……He does fight for yards, will be hard to guard and stop by a LB……I think since he has been out of the game and miss it, and realize his mouth wrote a lot of checks his ass could not catch and now he is really remorseful. I think he can help Dallas and for cheap…….He has to prove himself and why not give him a chance…..He knows Dallas, spent all his time there mostly and can help them especially as a JW replacement and goal line go to guy…..You have nothing to lose…..

    • I don’t know why this Dez Bryant talk is even a thing. He is not a TE and I don’t know if his ego would allow him to accept a complementary role anyway. I think there are better options.

  3. Blake Jarwin is the answer to replacing Witten. He has been the past 2 years. Love old man Witten, but he was clearly a liability on offense last year. Jarwin made plays just about every time he touched the ball and how can you say he was an in-line liability when he rarely played? When he did play he was picking up 10+ yards a catch easy. Don’t waste a pick or money on a free agent when the answer is in house.

    • Jarwin rarely played because the coaching staff didn’t trust him to handle all of the responsibilities they ask of their tight ends. There is more to being a TE for the Cowboys then producing in the passing game. That may change under the new coaching staff, but right now we have no way of knowing that.

      • I didn’t trust the previous coaching staff and some of their personnel decisions through the years. Jarwin will do fine and continue to refine his game and I think is the 1TE for this team. Yes, his blocking was suspect at times but not enough to not be the 1TE. This team has needs in other areas of the roster and drafting a TE in 2020 draft is not needed.

  4. To even imagine that Witten is replaceable is about the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard of. He is not only the G.O.A.T., but still the best in the game. This is is crazy to be talking about replacing him. Furthermore, if it were unfortunately that time, Dalton Schultz should be the one getting the shot. Jarwin is a great complementary player and is perfect for the role he has been playing… Witten is still the best and until he says that he is done, a replacement scenario should not even be thought about or talked about.

    • How is it ignorant to discuss replacing Jason Witten, who just so happens to be a free agent? Talking about replacing him is in no way disrespecting anything is done on or off the field as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. It’s simply a discussion about what the Cowboys might need to do next.

    • An honest fan isn’t blinded by his live for a team or player. I love Witten. He is an all time great player and great man. One of the most passionate players in my time. With that said, I still would like to see a younger, faster, stronger TE. In my dream world Witten becomes our TE coach after personally requesting the job to Jerry. We then draft/trade for a younger player to develope and give BJ more opportunities. If like Jarwin to be lined up wide more often and have designs around mismatches.
      Witten is right there helping mold a young TE with potentially amazing hands and route running skills learned from 82

  5. Trade their 5th round pick for Hayden Hurst..
    Bring Dez Bryant in for a TE ONLY workout, he is interested in this. It couldn’t hurt to see what he could do..

    • If the Cowboys could get Hayden Hurst for just a fifth-round pick they’d be absolutely be fleecing the Ravens. I don’t think that’s possible though. I think it would probably take at least a third. And, I honestly don’t know what to think about Dez Bryant, especially as a TE. I really don’t know why that’s gaining ground. I highly doubt he plays in the NFL again.

  6. I hate to say this because Witten is one of my all-time favorites but I don’t think it will be that hard to replace his on field production, at this point. They’ll definitely keep Jarwin, who’s a restricted FA and probably pair him with either a rookie TE or a lower tier FA TE. There’s no way that they sign someone like H.Henry, as much as I would like that, I can’t imagine the Chargers not keeping him and I also don’t think the Cowboys will spend much money on that position in FA. They need to go hard on fixing this defense, that’s the main problem, imo.

  7. This is a draft I”m really hoping Da Boys trade back to gain more picks. And with one of those extra 2nd or 3rds, would not be opposed to trading for one of the 3 players listed.

    I would also add a TE (Pinkney of Vandy or O’Grady from Arkansas) in the 3rd/4th.

    McCarthy seems to like the pass catchers more than the blockers so Jarwin will get a chance.

    • I’m all for trading back if they can do so and still grab a player they are targeting. But, I’d be just as happy if they stay put and drafted the best player available.

      Of the mid-round TEs you mentioned, Cheyenne O’Grady is my favorite. I don’t know why, but he reminds me of George Kittle. He has a lot of red flags that need to be ironed out, but fortunately the Cowboys have an inside source who could clear the air. John Stephen Jones (Jerry’s grandson, Steven’s son) was his QB last year at Arkansas and could give the Cowboys the inside scoop.

      From what McCarthy has had a TE during his time with the Packers it certainly looks like he prefers more of a pass catcher. But, it sounds as if the offense will stay pretty much stay the same with Kellen Moore remaining as the OC, which means a more complete TE might be needed. I’m certainly not discounting Blake Jarwin earning a larger role though. He could very well be their new TE1.

      • What are your thoughts on Dayton’s Adam Trautman? He looks raw, but he could be a massive red zone target from day 1. If he filled out his frame, I think the sky is the limit for him.

        What are your sleeper prospects at tight end?

      • You’re right, he’s raw. But, it looks like all the tools are there for him to become a starting TE in the NFL.

        Personally, I like Cheyenne O’Grady (Arkansas). He kind of reminds me of George Kittle. He has some off the field issues that will need to be cleared up, but the Cowboys may be the best equipped team to get to the root of the problem. They have an inside source, John Stephen Jones (Jerry’s grandson and Steven’s son), who was his QB last season.

  8. I love witten but when he runs he looks like he is pulling a tractor tire. He has great hands but makes five yds.
    Jarwin catches and makes fifteen yds.

    • There’s no doubt that Witten can still play, but it’s obvious his athleticism is in decline. He’s been serviceable his last few years in the league, but is probably time the Cowboys look for his successor.

  9. Promote Jarwin. Let’s see what he can do as the starter. Sign Dez Bryant to a TE minimum contract. Would love to see him put up the “x” in the red zone. Draft a big blocking TE in later rounds of draft.

    • I’m not against promoting Jarwin, but I think it’s a risky move and there’s also no telling what the new coaching regime thinks of him. As far as signing Dez Bryant is concerned, I highly doubt that ever happens.

  10. 1 Team, 7 Round




    My Picks

    K’Lavon Chaisson

    , EDGE


    Cole Kmet

    , TE
    Notre Dame


    Rashard Lawrence

    , IDL


    Shyheim Carter

    , S


    Chase Lucas

    , CB
    Arizona State


    Mike Panasiuk

    , IDL
    Michigan State

  11. I would draft a TE in 2nd or 3rd round like B Hopkins or C Kmet. Alot of needs in the offseason so I hope they get the jigsaw puzzle together. Alot of free agents and draft picks to put the roster together.

    • I just think there are more positions of greater need to draft in the 2nd or 3rd rounds then tight end. Of course, that could change once they make moves in free agency. There is so much unknown right now it’s really hard to know what the best course of action is to replace Jason Witten.

      • I think jarwin is more than capable of being a starting TE especially without Witten there handcufging his playing time. Might even see some fire from Dalton Schultz. And there is always the “where are we gonna stick Noah brown”. Lol. I still think brown is a very capable reciever as well as blocker. He’s like a smaller bodied TE with really good route running and hands.

      • As long as they don’t need Jarwin to consistently block I’d be okay with him as Jason Witten’s replacement. Otherwise, I think the Cowboys need to find a more complete TE. It’s interesting you brought up Noah Brown. I think he could be a similar player to the Oakland Raiders TE Darren Waller.

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