This is the fifth installment of a series of articles evaluating the Dallas Cowboys current roster in anticipation of the April draft. This evaluation deals with the TE position.
The Cowboys have five tight ends on the current roster (including the practice squad).
Starter - Jason Witten
What else do I need to say, the guy's a stud. But being the long-winded blogger that I am, I will say a few things. He has fantastic hands, runs great routes, catches the ball in traffic, and does a fair job of blocking. Simply put, he's one of the best TE's in the game. Thank you to all the teams that passed on him in the draft.
Reserves - Anthony Fasano, Brett Pierce, Tony Curtis, Jason Randall
Anthony Fasanon was drafted last year in hopes of creating a 2-TE offense. That idea never fully panned out and was dropped in the middle of the year. Fasano now serves as the primary backup to Witten and is the second TE on plays that actually use the 2-TE set. Fasano is a decent TE who might become better with experience. He didn't get a chance to show much of what he can do in the passing game because -let's face it - if you're going to throw the ball to a TE in the Cowboys offense it's going to Jason Witten. Fasano blocks well enough from the line of scrimmage when helping the tackles, but wasn't the explosive blocker you look for out of the backfield operating as a FB. Too often he couldn't knock the defender out of the way or just flat out missed the block. But given the Cowboys current formations on offense he probably won't be asked to do that very often and can return to the traditional TE role. He provides a solid backup to Witten.
Brett Pierce missed the season due to injury. The year before he showed a lot of potential on special teams and, depending on his recovery from injury, may be counted on to fill that role again in the upcoming season.
Tony Curtis made a few trips to the active roster last year and is a decent blocker. But given the backlog of players at the position his grip on a roster spot is shaky. Jason Randall is a warm body, but I don't know much about him outside of that.
With Bill Parcells exit from the organization it's unlikely the Cowboys will make any moves at this position and might even cut down on the number of TE's on the roster. Parcells, perhaps more than any other coach, had a love of the TE position and collected them. I wouldn't expect a TE to be on the draft board for the Cowboys.