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What a potential Jason Witten retirement means for the rest of the draft

The Cowboys went from having tight end be a luxury pick to probably considering one much higher now.

NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC vs AFC Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Every great thing must come to an end at some point and it looks as though the Cowboys will be saying goodbye to a legend:

Jason Witten is/was the gold standard for many to what being a Dallas Cowboy is all about, but we cannot dwell in the past right now. The Cowboys have nine more picks and tight end just rose up the board. Without Jason Witten and James Hanna (who retired a week ago), the Cowboys are left with Blake Jarwin, Rico Gathers, and Geoff Swaim. The Cowboys are rather high on Jarwin but that doesn’t mean they view him as a starter who’s ready to roll.

Then there is the potential of Rico Gathers. He showed so much in a short time in last season’s preseason, but then injury ended his year before it started. Is he ready to become a legitimate tight end in his third year?

The good news for Dallas is they can have their pick of a pretty deep tight end class over the next two days if they want. First/second-round considerations such as Dallas Goedert and Mike Gesicki are still on the board to start day two. We also know that this class has some later round gems ready to be plucked. Ian Thomas is a quality player that can do a little bit of everything for them. Mark Andrews, Christopher Herndon, Durham Smythe, and Troy Fumagalli could also be some mid-to-late round suggestions.

Jason Witten was not the same young pup he once was over the past few seasons but the Cowboys never worried too much about the depth chart when the guy never came off the field. Now, the Cowboys have to think about how to put as much talent around their young quarterback as possible. Free agency has been picked clean of the type of players that will make a difference. The Cowboys must address tight end at some point and it’s not a bad idea to think about it today, day two, of the draft.

With Witten likely gone, and the offense seemingly headed in a different direction, they need athleticism, size, and speed in the huddle. They need receiving threats on their roster not just targets. The Cowboys will now get an opportunity to start anew on offense at the tight end postion.

With that said, the Cowboys need to find a left guard, a receiver, a defensive tackle, a safety, and now a tight end can be added. They have nine more picks, it’s time to get a move on, Cowboys front office. If this team is going to become “Dak-Friendly”, they need to start moving heavily on the offensive side of the ball.

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