After signing Tight End Blake Jarwin to a four-year $22 million contract extension, the Dallas Cowboys are ushering in a new era at the TE position. The 2020 season will mark just the second time the Cowboys have had someone not named Jason Witten start at TE in over a decade, closer to two. A lot is riding on Jarwin making the transition from backup to starter, which is why the depth behind him is more important than ever.
What if Blake Jarwin flounders as a starter?
No doubt the Dallas Cowboys have the bodies to trot out at the TE position. Besides Blake Jarwin they have Blake Bell, Dalton Schultz, Cole Hikutini, Sean McKeon, Charlie Taumoepeau, and don’t be surprised if Noah Brown is in the mix as well. If something were to happen to Jarwin though, none of the above mentioned players inspire much confidence as a starting option.
Enter Delanie Walker.
Delanie Walker is 35 years old and has been limited to just eight games over the past two seasons due to ankle injuries, but the three-time Pro Bowl TE makes quite a bit of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. He may not be the starting caliber player he once was, but he could prove to be invaluable as a backup/emergency fill-in behind Blake Jarwin.
Walker’s career spans 504 receptions, 5,888 receiving yards and 36 touchdowns. Those kind of numbers are nothing to scoff at. Experience speaks volumes in the NFL, especially for a team like the Dallas Cowboys who don’t have much of it at the TE position.
The 6’2″, 248 pound former Tennessee Titan is a mismatch kind of weapon Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore could use in a variety of ways. Other than tight end, Walker has also served as a kick returner and fullback since entering the league. That kind of versatility could get him on the field early and often, even in the Cowboys loaded offense full of dynamic weapons.
Think of it this way… Walker could be the TE2/counterpart to Blake Jarwin, while also serving as the FB replacement for Jamize Olawale, who recently decided to opt out of the 2020 season. The Dallas Cowboys would be killing two birds with one stone so to speak. Depth… Experience… Versatility… What’s not to like?
Delanie Walker is a problem that has to be accounted for for opposing defenses. He’s too big for smaller defenders and his route running ability, quickness, and the length is too much for bigger defenders to handle. Anyway you slice it, he’s a mismatch kind of a player who gives defensive coordinators nightmares.
With Blake Jarwin and Delanie Walker, I know I’d feel a lot better about the Dallas Cowboys tight end position heading into the 2020 season than I do about the way things currently stand. I believe the two could coexist and if worse comes to worse, Walker would be a better Plan B option if Jarwin where to go down for any length of time. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s no-brainer. I just hope the Cowboys agree.