Among every contract extension and negotiation story concerning the Dallas Cowboys, you might’ve forgotten about a big storyline entering the 2019 NFL regular season. One of the greatest players in Cowboys history is making his return to the football field after spending last year in the booth calling Monday Night Football games for ESPN. When the Cowboys line up versus the New York Giants next Sunday, Jason Witten will suit up.
In turn, Jason Witten’s return made us stop thinking too much about last year’s starter at tight end for the Cowboys, Blake Jarwin. After all, the 25-year old doesn’t have a huge track record in the NFL. The last regular season game he played was his career best, though. Against who? None other than the Giants, who play the Cowboys in the season opener.
On week 17, in a shootout game in which Running Back Ezekiel Elliott didn’t play as the Cowboys had clinched a playoff berth, Dak Prescott threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns versus a Giants defense that struggled all season long. With the passing game on full display, Prescott’s best weapon that day was Blake Jarwin.
Jarwin ended the day with 119 yards and three touchdowns. It’s an interesting stat when you start looking at his season stats. All year long, Jarwin had more than three targets in only three occasions. In said games, Jarwin racked up 56, 45 and 119 yards. All offseason, I’ve wondered if he has more to offer than what we witnessed from Scott Linehan’s offense.
I do believe we’ll see a bigger role from tight ends under Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore, but a bigger question lies on playing time. Before retiring, most of the snaps went to Jason Witten. Even with optimistic reports from training camp, it’s hard to know how the future Hall of Famer will perform at age 37.
Will his speed be there? Did taking a year off help him get back to a better level of play? Will he do better or worse than the last time we saw him on the gridiron? I guess we won’t know for sure until we see him play real football next Sunday.
Despite how little we’ve seen from him, I’d honestly like to see Jarwin get considerable playing time. I must confess, Jason Witten is my favorite Cowboy ever. However, I’m not convinced about him taking a huge load of the snaps. I’d rather have him split most of the work with Jarwin, who’s young and could develop into a legit starter in the future.
He hasn’t had plenty of chances to prove his worth, so I’d like for him to get a fair opportunity at playing time. What better time to give him such a chance than when they Cowboys take on the Giants a few days from now?