If you ask any Dallas Cowboys fan what they want to see more than anything of in 2020 the answer is very likely 11 personnel. We want it. We need it.
11 personnel is, of course, an offense operating with three wide receivers, one tight end, and one running back. When you are a team that has Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb on it, it is hard to want to do anything than have them running around all of the time. As true as that is the Cowboys happen to have other offensive weapons that people want to see from. Players like Tony Pollard certainly come to mind there.
When operating out of 11 the Cowboys will obviously have Blake Jarwin on the field. Jason Witten is now gone which means the second tight end up is either going to be Dalton Schultz or Blake Bell. What if they are utilized elsewhere, though? Technically speaking, of course.
Versatility might be a valued asset among Dallas Cowboys tight ends this season
Obviously the Cowboys are going to use a tight end this season, whether they play all too much out of 12 personnel remains to be seen, but if and when they do, they have options.
Blake Jarwin is a tight end in the here and now but in his time at Oklahoma State he played the “Cowboy Back” position which is a hybrid player that plays tight end, running back, and wide receiver. Blake Bell was known for some versatility when he was in college as well. Jarwin spoke to the media on Sunday and discussed how being malleable might be something that is utilized on offense this season.
“Interesting enough at Oklahoma State we were kind of, we call it the Cowboy Back. It was a fullback, a tight end, a wide receiver, a guy who could pretty much be versatile and do all of those things. And this year it looks like, hey we’re going to have the opportunity to do that where we can do 12 personnel and we can be tight end-fullback, two tight ends, in-line tight end, a split-out tight end, wide receiver-type. To have that versatility in the room I think is big time for us, we can give the defense some different looks.”
It’s important to remember that the Cowboys’ true fullback, Jamize Olawale, opted out of the season. While that opens up a roster spot for another body in the backfield, it also opens up playing time and if someone like one of the Blakes is capable, and willing, to line up and do some different things, well that could be a lot of fun for Kellen Moore.
Sunday also brought an intimation that the Cowboys are aware of Tony Pollard’s talents. While 11 personnel is the dream there is obviously room for a lot of differentiation.
Perhaps that will be the case week in and week out this season.