How another pass catcher fits the Dallas Cowboys in 2021
Currently constructed, the Dallas Cowboys have Cooper, Lamb, and Gallup at starting WR and Jarwin at starting TE. If Kyle Pitts, Dane’s No. 2 overall prospect in this year’s draft, is selected by Dallas, I think most of agree he’ll immediately slide into the TE1 post.
While I expect a breakout performance from Jarwin in 2021, the reality is he’s never taken more than 39% of the snaps as a pro and is still more prospect than player right now. Given that both Pitts and Jarwin are more big slot than traditional inline tight end, it’s easy to envision a Dallas Cowboys offense that leans on more 2-TE looks than they have in the past.
21 personnel would subsequently remove one of the WRs from the field but it would give Dallas an enormous match-up advantage and instantly solve Dallas’ red zone issue they suffered from last year. Keep in mind, Pitts is the top red zone weapon in this draft and Blake Jarwin was Dallas’ top ranked red zone weapon (as per PFF) in both 2018 and 2019 (he was hurt all of 2020). Dallas would also be in position to trade Gallup if they wanted to.
If Dallas goes WR at pick 10, then Michael Gallup clearly becomes immediately expendable. As everyone knows by now, 2021 is Gallup’s last year under contract, so the chances of him remaining beyond this year are minimal in any situation. The Dallas Cowboys could flip him quite easily for a third round pick (with possibly even more “conditional” compensation down the road) and instantly open a spot for whomever they may draft.
Such a move also opens things up more for CeeDee Lamb to move outside. While he was highly successful inside playing primarily in the slot, Lamb is built for the outside. Waddle and Smith both figure to be slot weapons as rookies and either would seamlessly slide into that role here in 2021.
Dallas would essentially upgrade as a unit and get a top-100 draft pick via a Gallup trade on top of it. And since WR is the third highest paid position in the NFL, they’d be saving tremendous money the next four seasons by having two of their top-3 playing on their rookie deals.
but what about beyond this season…