The Dallas Cowboys have a high-ceiling tight end who may be the star of the bunch in ’19– and that guy’s name is not Jason Witten…
While the return of Jason Witten elevates the TE unit overall, at age 37, his potential is limited in what he can offer the Dallas Cowboys tight end position in 2019. Back for what we assume is one last hurrah, Witten is no longer the perennial Pro Bowler he once was.
If the Dallas Cowboys hope to produce a star at the tight end position, it’s going to have to be someone else. And that man’s name is Blake Jarwin.
For those hoping to find another Rico Gathers article, keep looking. While the bell hasn’t struck midnight on Gathers, it’s getting dangerously close. In fact, I’m operating under the assumption Gathers will be playing for a different team in ’19 after the Dallas Cowboys make him a camp casualty on final cuts.
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Blake Jarwin is the guy Cowboys Nation should be talking about. The former Oklahoma State H-Back has been a project of Dallas since the 2017 season. After Philadelphia attempted poaching him late in the season, Dallas moved him onto the active roster and the development began.
The developmental timeline was thrown away when Dallas’ top-two TEs, Jason Witten and James Hanna, walked away from the game.
Thrown into the fire, Jarwin was asked to learn on-the-job. A situation only made worse by Geoff Swaim’s season ending injury later in the year.
Not the traditional inline TE Dallas typically employs, Jarwin was often flexed out. Sometimes in the slot and sometimes against the boundary. He was pass-catcher above all and at 6’5” 260lbs, he was a big one at that.
Perhaps the hardest position other than QB is that of the TE. Expected to execute multiple roles, reads, and adjustments on an instant and instinctual level, a certain degree of polish is necessary in a TEs development.
All held true for Jarwin. Only targeted eight times over the course of the first eleven weeks, the light came on in the season’s second half. Over the last five games of the regular season, Jarwin was targeted 28 times. All of this culminated in Week 17 when Jarwin collected seven of eight passes directed at him for 119 yards and three touchdowns.
The numbers themselves weren’t just impressive, but the way they were achieved were as well. Jarwin made plays over the middle – an area of the field previously neglected by the Dallas passing attack in 2018. He also made plays on the fly. On the TD shown below, Jarwin broke off his route (at the direction of Dak Prescott) and went deep. This showed chemistry and trust between the two.
Blake Jarwin has become a player who can line up anywhere. He can even serve as a mismatch option out wide in goal line situations (jump ball anyone?). He also has the speed and athleticism to catch the ball in stride and gain actual yardage after the catch. Gasp!
He’s a different kind of TE that can find success alongside someone like Dalton Schultz and Jason Witten or alone as TE/WR hybrid.
Will the opportunities to shine be there for Blake Jarwin? That’s the big question. But if the Dallas Cowboys are committed to taking this passing attack to the next level, it’s probably going to need Blake Jarwin to be one of the X-factors.
If the Dallas Cowboys tight end corps wants to be better than just an average unit, they’re going to need Blake Jarwin. Only Jarwin has true star potential.
- Published on 07/09/2019 at 12:00 PM
- Last updated at 07/08/2019 at 15:58 PM