As talented as he seems to be, Florida’s Kyle Pitts is being seen as a luxury instead of a necessity by many Cowboys fans. But if the wunderkind tight end is available at Dallas’ 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, there may be more need for him in the coming years than you think. This is mainly due to Wide Receiver Michael Gallup’s impending free agency next year.
We’re already enamored with the three-headed monster of Gallup, Amari Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb as receiving targets in the Cowboys’ offense. But while Cooper and Lamb are both signed through 2024 (with high probability that Dallas picks up Lamb’s 5th-year option), Gallup’s rookie contract expires after this season.
Gallup has been a consistent stud for the Cowboys the last two years. Assuming his game continues to blossom with Dak Prescott returning at quarterback, he should enter 2022 free agency with plenty of hype as one of the top WR options available.
In all likelihood, this means Gallup will become too expensive for the Cowboys to retain. We started having this fear after his 1,100-yard breakout season in 2019; eventually we wouldn’t be able to afford both Cooper and Gallup.
Part of the assumed logic in Dallas picking Lamb last year was to prepare for Michael’s potential departure. Lamb could move into the starting lineup with multiple years left on his rookie deal, keeping the finances in balance.
This is where Kyle Pitts, a potential generational talent at tight end, could quickly become more than just a luxury. As soon as 2022, Pitts could replace Gallup as a top-three receiving threat for the Cowboys.
Yes, Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz are still here. But as excited as we are to finally see the athletic Jarwin playing in this offense, Kyle Pitts may be the best TE prospect to come along in decades.
Blake’s place on the team is still based on perceived potential, having never played more than a few series as the starting tight end. And nobody, even his own mother, would claim that Jarwin has more potential than Pitts.
Upside isn’t the only factor here. One of these players turns just 21 in October while the other will be 27 before the season starts. I’ll let you guess who’s who.
But I digress; let’s get back to 2022 free agency. Not only is one of your top-three receiving weapons probably leaving but Dalton Schultz and Cedrick Wilson will also be unrestricted free agents next year.
With Cooper, Lamb, Pitts, and Jarwin in place, the Cowboys can suffer the loss of Gallup and any other receiving targets next year. You can fill out the depth charts behind these players and maintain a potent offense without major financial investments or high draft picks.
All of this aside, Pitts makes sense at the 10th pick on sheer talent alone. Not taking him could be the next Randy Moss decision that we’re kicking ourselves over for the next two decades.
But clearly, this isn’t just about talent versus need. Adding Kyle Pitts to the 2021 offense makes it even more dangerous than it already is. And if Michael Gallup’s out the door next year, Pitts becomes a truly vital component in just his second season.
The talent is there. The need is there. Now we just have to hope that Pitts is still there when the Cowboys are on the clock.