Is Dallas Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin’s breakout performance a sign of things to come or just a flash in the pan?
Blake Jarwin had a heck of a coming out party on Sunday. His seven catches for 119 yards marked career highs for the second year tight end out of Oklahoma. And his three touchdowns were nothing short of a lifetime achievement.
Despite playing in all of Dallas’ 16 games, Jarwin only has 27 receptions for 307 yards and three touchdowns. His breakout performance accounts for roughly one third of his total yardage, a quarter of his total receptions, and all of his career touchdowns, it’s understandable many doubt his ability to duplicate this type of success.
While duplicating this may be a tall order, that doesn’t mean this isn’t a sign of things to come (I mean, his three TDs broke Billy Joe DuPree’s Dallas Cowboys record – not Jason Witten’s. Meaning – the great Witten never even had a day like this).
This is the Blake Dallas Envisioned
Blake Jarwin was a player Dallas scouts have loved for a while. The 6’5” tight end hybrid had enormous pass-catching potential and was being groomed to be TE2 Dallas always dreamed of matching with Witten (Spoiler alert: Witten retired before that could happen).
But late last season the Philadelphia Eagles started sniffing around Jarwin (like they need more TEs). And Dallas, as you’ll remember, was in permanent must-win spiral and could ill afford to waste a roster spot on a “prospect”. But Dallas did just that, they placed him on the roster and bet on the 23-year-old’s future.
It was at this moment many of us took note of the Dallas Cowboys young talent. I mean, if they were willing to sacrifice a roster spot at a time of the year when they needed as many players as possible who could contribute now, then this player must be someone special.
In training camp this season it looked like Jarwin was making good on the Cowboys investment. He lined up in a variety of places, showed new looks, and created mismatches. He was targeted often and flashed big on a near daily basis. Yet, once the season began Jarwin disappeared.
On the season, Jarwin has played a total of 387 snaps. Playing predominantly the TE2 role behind the well-rounded Geoff Swaim, Jarwin has logged the second most snaps at TE. His snaps increased when Swaim went down to injury in Week 11. In fact, that last week Swaim played, Jarwin only played four snaps on the day.
Because of this, some wonder if Jarwin is destined to a smaller role once Swaim returns (should Swaim be re-signed, of course). While the concern is valid, reduction to a smaller role is unlikely. That’s because Swaim plays virtually a different position. Sure he’s a TE but he’s not like Swaim, he’s not like Dalton Schultz, and he’s not like Rico Gathers either.
Jarwin’s special set of skills (i.e. pass catching and route running) makes him his own independent chess piece. For people who saw him in camp, shades of training camp are dancing in their heads. I wasn’t so lucky to see him there but I remember the daily reporting from people in the know. I remember how dynamic he was and I remember how much Dak went to him.
There’s a good chance we are just scratching the surface on Blake Jarwin. He’s getting more comfortable by the day and it’s showing up everywhere. Dak Prescott is clearly trusting him more. Jarwin was only targeted eight times over the first eleven weeks of the season. In the last six weeks, he’s been thrown to 28 times. His catch percentage is now 75% and his repertoire with Dak Prescott is now reaching “Chemistry” status.
On Jarwin’s third touchdown, Dak waved him off his route and sent him deep. Jarwin obliged and Dak delivered the ball on target for a huge play. This kind of chemistry isn’t automatic. It’s cultivated and nurtured. Blake Jarwin is here to stay.
Blake Jarwin may have come out of nowhere but don’t expect him to go back to nowhere. There are reasons to believe the Dallas Cowboys new weapon is here to stay and a force to be reckoned with.
- Published on 12/31/2018 at 18:01 PM
- Last updated at 01/02/2019 at 07:53 AM