The Dallas Cowboys could really use a proven tight end and the Cincinnati Bengals have one they may be growing weary of. Match made in heaven?
Patience may be running out in Cincinnati as oft-injured tight end, Tyler Eifert, began training camp injured once again. After missing the better part of the past two seasons, they may be ready to wash their hands of the former Pro Bowler if the price is right.
This could be a rare window of opportunity for the Dallas Cowboys that would alleviate their biggest concern heading into the 2018 season.
The mess at TE
This offseason, the Dallas Cowboys were caught with their pants down when both Jason Witten and James Hanna walked off into the sunset. It’s not just that they lost their TE1 and TE2 in the same offseason, it’s that both retirements came after free agency essentially concluded.
With Hanna retiring on the 20th of April, and Witten retiring soon after, desirable free agent options at TE were no longer available. It was the NFL Draft or bust. But like all things draft, if you don’t snag a player at the top, he’s likely to more of a project than a contributor in Year 1.
Dalton Schulz, a late fourth round pick, figures to be the former. He has a well-rounded set of skills but as we’ve seen in camp, he’s not a very realistic candidate to be TE1 this season. If the Dallas Cowboys want a start-now player, they’ll probably have to use the trade market
Tyler Eifert could be that player.
We’ve spoken of Eifert for some time now. He was a rumored favorite of Jason Garrett in the 2013 draft. And when free agency first opened this year, we considered him an option on this team as a dynamic pairing to Witt. But after quickly re-signing with Cincy to a modest one-year incentive-laden deal, we figured we’d have to wait until next offseason to dream of Eifert in Dallas.
But this preseason, opportunity is presenting itself. The Bengals opened camp with their former Pro Bowl tight end on the physically unable to perform list (PUP). The backlash on social media was severe and swift. Bengals fans were not happy and many were ready to wash their hands of the 27-year-old former Pro Bowler.
Their impatience is understandable too. Eifert has only played in 10 games over the past two seasons. Over his career, he’s missed more games than he’s finished. The desire to move on makes sense.
After watching the Dallas Cowboys tight ends in training camp, it’s safe to say they are legitimately in the market for adding a veteran. For as excited as they are about Blake Jarwin, he’s still an unknown commodity in the NFL. Everyone would feel a lot better if a true TE1 like Tyler Eifert was leading the position unit, rather than someone like Geoff Swaim or Jarwin.
How good is Tyler Eifert?
Eifert, 6’6” 255 lbs has made a name for himself particularly in the end zone. In 2015, he collected 13 touchdowns in just 13 games played. Those 13 TDs are more than Jason Witten ever collected in a single season.
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Adding a red zone weapon would also help overcome the loss of Dez Bryant. Bryant may have lost a step or two over the years, but even in his last season with Dallas, he was arguably the best red zone WR in the NFL. No one on this roster looks like they can replace his red zone production. Adding Eifert here would help cover the loss of Dez immensely.
Unlike many dynamic pass-catching tight ends, Eifert is one who actually blocks. He’s consistent in run-blocking both at the point of attack and on the backside. He would instantly be the best tight end on the roster in all phases of the game.
The Bengals aren’t actively shopping Eifert, but given his status and the Bengals depth at the TE position, they may be willing to rid themselves of this talented tease if they can get something back for him (mid-level pick perhaps?). And with such limited options available, the Cowboys may be willing to take on an injury-prone star like Eifert.
According to reports in Cincy, Tyler Eifert is expected to be 100 percent by the start of the season. His current status is precautionary more than anything. For a TE-needy team like the Dallas Cowboys, adding a proven weapon to operate between the numbers might be a gamble worth taking.
- Published on 08/14/2018 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 08/14/2018 at 11:33 AM