The Battle for TE3: Jeremy Sprinkle and Sean McKeon
There’s no guarantee the Dallas Cowboys will keep more than three tight ends in 2021. In fact, I’ve been projecting just three all offseason long. That means the battle for TE3 is going to be a big one.
In this battle we have the five-year vet, Jeremy Sprinkle going up against the 23-year-old Sean McKeon. Both players are blocking specialists so both will get to compete largely in an apples to apples competition.
Sprinkle is a fairly large man with a nice track record and veteran leadership. McKeon is an ascending talent who is smaller and more athletic. Both get the job done but McKeon looks like he’s still developing while Sprinkle has plateaued.
If the play in camp is close, it’s likely McKeon gets the nod. He’s younger and cheaper, who’s versatile and still getting better. Eventually, he’s probably a TE2 and will replace Dalton Schultz in 2022.
Note: The Dallas Cowboys are fairly committed to Jarwin the next two seasons so it’s unlikely they will be able to retain Schultz.
Rounding out the depth is Nick Eubanks, the athletic pass-catcher from Michigan. He’s a project player with good upside. I imagine he’s destined for the practice squad and will get a real chance to compete next year.
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The top challenger to Blake Jarwin as TE 1 is Blake Jarwin’s knee. Because if Dalton Schultz and Blake are 100 percent, Blake’s the clear starter. Since Jarwin was held out in minicamp, I’m a little nervous about that knee heading into camp. But if he’s fully cleared on Day 1, I fully expect “Bird” Jarwin will get the lion’s share of the snaps. He’s just that impactful as a pass-catcher.
I’d be equally surprised if Jeremy Sprinkle flat out knocked McKeon off the roster. I only see Sprinkle winning TE3 if Dallas goes long and keeps four tight ends. They really don’t want to give up on McKeon.
In coming days we’ll highlight more training camp battles. Stay with us at Sport DFW!