A couple of days ago, we made an effort to identify the holes in the Cowboys current roster. One of the holes we noted was at tight end. That is certainly a position we thought could use some help either in free agency or through the draft.
Apparently, the Cowboys organization wholeheartedly agrees. Stephen Jones made it clear that the Cowboys would address the position this offseason.
“So, yeah, I think tight end is very important in terms of one of our top needs, what we’ll be looking at in the draft, and looking for ways to make that a stronger spot. Certainly [Cole] Beasely is a chain-mover, forever Jason Witten was a chain-mover. Certainly, Blake made some strides this year, but I think it’s obvious right now we don’t have that ‘Jason Witten, Jay Novacek, No. 1’ tight end.”
In the usually circumspect world of commenting on draft/free agency plans, this is about as solid as it gets. Jones makes it plain that the Cowboys will spend some resources on the position.
While he mentions the draft as one route to helping out the position, the way he speaks about what they need hints closer to a free agent, someone who is established and can help them right away. Notice how he talks about a No. 1 tight end, a Jason Witten or Jay Novacek type. A chain-mover, in his words.
The Cowboys don’t have a first-round pick, so the best they could do right now would be to use their 58th overall pick on a tight end. It’s possible you could find a stud at that spot, especially since tight ends tend to come off the board later than most positions, but that is still pretty speculative, especially if you’re looking for someone to help right away in 2019. Yes, Witten was a third-round pick and Novacek was a sixth-round pick, but that’s not really something you can count on. It’s very hard to find gems like that. Novacek played mostly special teams his first year and Witten wasn’t quite Witten his first year, although he was pretty good for a rookie.
So given the way Stephen Jones feels about the position, you have to wonder if they might try to go after a quality tight end in free agency. This comes with the caveat that the Cowboys normally don’t spend in free agency, but tight end is not a high-dollar position so they might want to go that route.
As for the current tight ends, Jones cites Blake Jarwin as the guy most likely to be the man, but also notes he’s not there yet.
“Yes, I mean, I think we’ve got some good, young players. I think Blake Jarwin, in particular, probably has the most upside, but is he ready right this second? Probably not.”
File this one away for when free agency begins. We should mention that Geoff Swaim is a free agent so the Cowboys could re-sign him. It was interesting though that Jones did not mention him when asked about the priorities at tight end. It might be a simple oversight, but still worth noting.