If we pay attention to who the Dallas Cowboys are scouting, we can gain insight as to the type of tight end they’re targeting in this weekend’s draft
Like all teams, the Dallas Cowboys are pretty secretive this time of year. Not wanting to tip their hand prior to the draft, the Cowboys send of a series of smoke signals and leaks to get their fellow teams off their scent.
But some things they do inevitably offer insight into their planning: Player meetings. Whether it’s an official 30-visit, a private workout, a combine interview, or a Dallas Day invite, if you’re on the list – you have a chance.
Dallas has a history of drafting players they’ve met with. When they’ve deviated from that, they’ve often paid for it. That’s why we put so much weight into the pre-draft meetings. Over half of their picks are likely to be someone they know quite well. And with only two picks in the top-100, you can bet they’ll do their due diligence.
Does that mean the Dallas Cowboys are going to draft a tight end they have met with? Not necessarily, but the type of tight ends they’ve been focusing on indicate a preference of what type of tight end they want.
Blocking vs receiving TE
There are generally three types of TEs: 1) a blocking in-line TE, 2) a receiving TE, and 3) a well-rounded TE who offers even amounts of each. Who are the Cowboys scouting?
Based on KD Drummond’s tracking at Cowboys Wire, Dallas hosted Jace Sternberger, Dawson Knox, and Drew Sample as official 30-visitors. They’ve also held private workouts with Josh Oliver and Jerome Washington. 247 Sports reports, at the Combine they met with T.J. Hockenson and Dax Raymond as well.
Notice a common trait?
These guys catch the ball. Sure, some can block as well, but generally speaking these are pass-catching tight ends who make plays down the field. If you have to compare their draft interest to tight ends currently on the Dallas Cowboys roster, you’re seeing a lot more Blake Jarwin-type prospects than Jason Witten or Dalton Schultz.
This indicates new offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, plans to do some fun things with the tight end position. Using a tight end more downfield would do wonders for this offense. Dallas notoriously neglected the intermediate to deep middle of the field. Save for Jarwin’s career day where he attacked the seam and posted 119 yards and three touchdowns, not much was done with this portion of the field.
Since Witten no longer possesses the speed to be effective there, the onus largely falls on Jarwin once again. Adding another tight end with downfield pass-catching ability would ensure this valuable attack for Moore, and not place all hope on Jarwin.
With the exception of Jerome Washington, all of these players the Cowboys have met with have notable pass-catching ability. It’s now clear what the Dallas Cowboys are looking to accomplish at the tight end position this year.
The Dallas Cowboys are targeting a specific type of tight end this year. This offers insight to who they’re planning to draft and what they plan on doing with that player this coming season.