When looking at the Dallas Cowboys offense, it is difficult to point out a specific weakness. If forced to single out one spot, though, tight end would receive the largest sum of votes out of all the skill positions, despite the growing hype for third-year pass catcher Blake Jarwin out of Oklahoma State University.
The Cowboys have spent premium resources to improve the team’s weapons at the skill positions in the past two years: trading a 2019 first-round pick to the Raiders in exchange for Amari Cooper during the 2018 season, and selecting former Oklahoma Sooners star CeeDee Lamb with the 17th overall selection of the 2020 draft. As a result, combined with third-year wideout Michael Gallup, Dallas arguably has the best wide receiver corps in all of football.
What are the odds that the Cowboys use a third consecutive first-round draft pick on a pass catcher? Considering the way that the league is constantly evolving in the passing game, it is not out of the realm of possibility. The Draft Network’s Jordan Reid seems to have that line of thinking in his most recent mock draft, giving Dallas one of the best tight end prospects in the 2021 draft class.
27. Dallas Cowboys
Kyle Pitts | TE, Florida
A lot rides on the success of Blake Jarwin, who the team and fan base seem to be really excited about, but outside of him at the top of the depth chart, the pickings are very slim. Expected to have an explosive offense already with the Cooper-Gallup-Lamb trio at receiver, placing another versatile option in Pitts into the offense gives the team even more ammo to utilize against defenses.
As a tight end, Pitts adds a different dynamic in that he can perform from a variety of different platforms, making his fit into the scheme easier as personnel groupings can mix and match often when he’s used essentially as a big receiver. A relatively young prospect still at 19 years old, Pitts’ body and game are still maturing with more reps.
Pitts is the second tight end to come off the board in Reid’s mock draft, behind only Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth, who was taken just two picks prior. The Florida Gators product turned in a breakout season in 2019, catching 54 passes for 649 yards and five touchdowns while earning first-team All-SEC honors as a sophomore. With his growing connection with quarterback Kyle Trask, the expectation is that Pitts has an even bigger season as a junior.
Florida's Kyle Pitts (6-foot-6, 240), an early favorite for TE1 in the 2021 NFL Draft, is a freak — rare athlete for his size.pic.twitter.com/DfFlmnROBT— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) May 31, 2020
In Dallas, it remains to be seen if Jarwin can truly emerge as a reliable tight end over the course of a full season. The former undrafted free agent has flashed at times — especially when playing against the New York Giants defense — but he only has a total of 58 catches, 672 yards and six scores after two seasons with the team. Perhaps not having to share snaps with Jason Witten will be enough for Jarwin to take that leap, but it still remains to be seen.
Mike McCarthy and the front office hit the defensive side of the ball hard in the 2020 draft after watching Byron Jones and Robert Quinn ink big deals with different franchises. Trevon Diggs and Neville Gallimore are expected to play meaningful snaps in year one, while Reggie Robinson II and Bradlee Anae offer a lot of potential for the future.
It does seem like a stretch that the Cowboys will use their first-round pick on a tight end after using their last two first-rounders on receivers, but Pitts is the kind of player that could force Dallas to strongly consider it.