With free agency and the NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, the Dallas Cowboys now look forward to OTAs and training camp leading up to the start of the 2018 season. With that in mind, I will be breaking down the roster by position. Today we will take a look at the tight ends.
The retirement of Jason Witten leaves a giant hole for the Dallas Cowboys at the tight end position. To say there is not a replacement on the current roster would be a massive understatement. The four tight ends currently on the roster have combined for nine catches and zero touchdowns.
All nine of those catches belong to the same player, Geoff Swaim. The biggest positive you can say about Swaim is that he has the most experience of any of the tight ends on the roster. Swaim is a good blocker but not much of a pass catcher. In three seasons with Dallas, Swaim has recorded nine catches for 94 yards. I do not believe Swaim will make much of an impact for the Cowboys in 2018.
The next most experienced tight end on the roster is Blake Jarwin. I use the term experienced loosely in this case. Jarwin’s NFL experience consists of one game. Blake Jarwin has never recorded a regular season reception. With that said the Cowboys obviously believe he has some potential. They proved that last season when they put him on the active roster in order to keep the Philadelphia Eagles from signing him. During his college career at Oklahoma State, Jarwin had 41 catches, for 616 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Nobody really knows what Blake Jarwin can do, but he will get an opportunity to show everyone during training camp and preseason. Given the competition at TE, Jarwin has as good of a chance as anyone to win the starting job.
The guy many consider to be the favorite to land the starting gig is rookie TE Dalton Schultz. Dallas used a fifth-round selection on the tight end out of Stanford in April’s draft. Shultz was asked to block a lot while at Stanford and will likely be asked to do the same for Dallas. Dallas wants to run the football a lot in 2018 and that could play in the favor of Schultz when it comes to being the starter. Schultz will have to prove to the coaches he can contribute in the passing game, but his blocking should allow him to get on the field early in his career.
The final tight end on the roster may be the most polarizing of them all. Rico Gathers is the ultimate wild card. Fans have been very vocal about wanting Gathers to get his opportunity. It’s easy to understand why fans want to see more from Rico, he burst onto the scene last preseason with seven catches, for 106 yards, and two touchdowns. Rico suffered a concussion and the Cowboys put him on IR the entire season. There have been reports that coaches question Rico’s commitment to the game. The potential of Gathers is undeniable but he needs to prove his commitment. If he has another preseason like last years, Dallas will be hard pressed not to get him on the field in games that count.
The bottom line when it comes to Dallas’ tight ends is that they all have flaws. Obviously, none of them will come close to replacing a hall of fame player like Jason Witten. The truth is they shouldn’t be expected to. Dallas will likely use all of their tight ends with each having a specific role. Fans and the Cowboys themselves were spoiled by having Jason Witten for 15 seasons, and this year will be a harsh dose of reality. Dallas can be successful in 2018, but it won’t be due to the success of their tight ends.
Latest Cowboys News: