With the NFL draft in our rearview mirror, and training camp just two months away, we can start to get a clearer picture of what the Dallas Cowboys 2021 roster will look like. Outside of some potential minor additions, the way the Cowboys are presently constructed will likely be the way they head into camp.
Today we start a new series, breaking down some of the most intriguing players on this roster. We’ll start with a guy looking to rebound from a season-ending injury in 2020, tight end Blake Jarwin.
Contract Status: Signed through 2023, potential out in 2022 (Via Spotrac)
2020 Review: Unfortunately for Jarwin, there isn’t much to talk about in this department. Fresh off signing a four-year, $22 million extension in March of 2020, expectations were high for the 26-year-old heading into the season. Jarwin ended 2019 on a high note, catching 19 passes for 203 yards, an average of 10.68 yards per reception, in his final seven games of the season.
After three years in the league, Jarwin seemed ready to take over the full-time role of starting tight end. As we all now know, Jarwin never got a real chance to fill the role, suffering a torn ACL in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.
All signs indicate that Jawrin expects to be fully ready to go in 2021, but coming off a torn ACL, there’s always a risk it will take longer than expected.
Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin was working out with an athletic trainer on a side field. First time we’ve seen that since his Sept. 13 ACL tear. Jarwin’s recovery has gone well. Expected to be full go in 2021.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) December 4, 2020
2021 Outlook: If he is able to stay healthy, Jarwin could have a huge season in 2021. Filling in for him last year, Dalton Schultz had a great year. The former fourth-round pick caught 63 passes for 615 yards, averaging 9.8 yards per reception, and found the end zone four times. His Pro Football Focus offensive grade of 64 was by far the highest mark of his career. Schultz also became just the fifth tight end in franchise history to record 50 catches in a regular season.
Schultz played well in 2020, and this is no knock on him, but some of his production seemed to be a product of playing in such a high-powered offense. In four games with Dak Prescott as his quarterback, Schultz caught 18 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns. Teams clearly were more worried about Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, or CeeDee Lamb beating them, and Schultz took advantage.
This bodes extremely well for the returning Jarwin, who is a better athlete and overall route runner than Schultz. While Schultz did most of his damage in the short-to-intermediate passing game, Jarwin provides more of a downfield threat and can make things happen after the catch.
Even without Prescott for most of the season, Schultz was able to post over 600 receiving yards and catch 63 passes. That points to a high bar for Jarwin in 2021. In this offense, there’s a real chance he could go catch 60-70 passes and go for 750-800 receiving yards, if healthy.
Overall Review: Health is the only real question mark for Blake Jarwin this season. The Cowboys offense will be one of the most explosive units in the game, and Jarwin will have chances to make some big plays. If he’s able to stay on the field, look for Jarwin to easily join the 50 receptions in a regular-season club, and post even better numbers than Schultz did in 2020.