It’s not often you consider a player that only has 38 career receptions in his five-year career a difference maker, but in this case newly acquired tight end Blake Bell has the opportunity to be just that.
The Cowboys have been searching for James Hanna’s replacement as the teams blocking-tight end, ever since he left back in 2017. Geoff Swaim was a decent option as the teams second tight end that made an impact as a blocker, but injuries limited his effectiveness. Jason Witten’s ability as a blocker has seen a heavy decline over his last three to four seasons with the Cowboys. Blake Jarwin has very high-potential as a receiver, but lacks the ideal strength and technique as a run-blocker to be successful in that role. The Cowboys drafted Dalton Schultz in 2018 in hopes of him turning into a reliable TE2 in the offense, but has struggled to find the field in his first two-seasons in the league. In steps Blake Bell, aka the Belldozer.
Updated TE blocking numbers through end of 2019.— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) January 7, 2020
Jets TEs tied for most pressures allowed (17) and 4th-highest pressure% (9.8%)
Jets rank last in yds/attempt (2.5), 1st down% (13.1), and yds before contact/attempt (0.26) on rushes directed outside of the tight end pic.twitter.com/EdYxFc1mpw
Blake Bell is the perfect complement to Blake Jarwin as the team’s TE2. Jarwin brings a ton of upside to the table with his athleticism and receiving abilities, but has struggled as a run-blocker in his young-career. Blake Bell brings a ton of upside to the table with his strength and technique as a run blocker, but has struggled as a receiver in his young-career. What one player lacks, the other makes up for, and that should excite fans for the teams potential to find success out of 12-personnel both in the running and passing game.
For what it’s worth, Bell isn’t necessarily a bad receiver, he just hasn’t been used a ton in the passing game due to his athletic limitations, but it’s something Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore will need to implement in order for the 12-personnel looks to reach it’s full potential.
The addition of Blake Bell isn’t one that gets talked about in the same light as Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, or Haha Clinton-Dix, but it’s one that could make a big impact in the Cowboys rushing attack and the use of 12-personnel in 2020.