clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys 2023 pre-draft positional breakdown: Tight ends

Dallas’ young tight end group has some big-time potential.

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With the NFL draft later this month, the Dallas Cowboys are looking at areas of their roster they can improve when it comes time to make their selections. Today, we continue our pre-draft positional breakdown series, examining where things stand position-wise before the draft.

We begin our third installment of the series by taking a look at Dallas’ tight ends.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Starter: With Dalton Schultz headed to Houston, Dallas’ current starter at tight end would be second-year man, Jake Ferguson. The fourth-round pick had a decent showing during his first season in the NFL, totaling 19 receptions for 179 yards, eight first-down receptions, and two touchdowns.

Ferguson showed his impressive athleticism on multiple occasions during his rookie year, including the two plays below against divisional rivals.

While he did not get tons of opportunities to catch the football, Ferguson made the most of his limited chances. The 24-year-old had an 86.4% catch percentage when targeted and did not drop a single pass in 23 targets. Ferguson also finished the year with the 10th-highest receiving grade (75.2) among NFC tight ends, via Pro Football Focus.

No matter who the Cowboys add to the roster in the upcoming NFL draft, Ferguson’s role is going to be significantly bigger in year two. The young tight end will get more chances to prove his worth in Dallas’ offense.

Dallas Cowboys v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

The Backup: Directly behind Ferguson on the depth chart is 23-year-old Peyton Hendershot. After making the team as an UDFA, Hendershot found his way onto the field a decent amount during his rookie year, playing in 17 games and totaling 307 offensive snaps. Hendershot finished the season with 11 receptions for 103 yards, an average of 9.4 Y/R, eight first-down receptions, and three total touchdowns.

While his final season stats weren’t anything to write home about, Hendershot posted some impressive production for an UDFA. Like Ferguson, Hendershot’s role will certainly increase in year two and he will have more opportunities to prove his worth in the offense.

Dallas Cowboys v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

The Rest: Dallas currently has two other tight ends on their roster, 25-year-olds Sean McKeon and Seth Green.

McKeon has played in 36 games during his three-year NFL career, catching six passes for 38 yards and a touchdown. Green has never played a snap in an NFL regular season game. There’s about a 98-99% chance the Cowboys will select at least one tight end in the 2023 draft, meaning it’s going to be an uphill battle for McKeon or Green to make the roster this upcoming season.

Even if Dallas waits until round four or five to take a tight end, that player would likely have a good chance of beating out McKeon and Green to make the 53-man roster.

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Positional Grade: C+

As it stands, Dallas’ tight end group is very unproven. They have plenty of potential, but they’ll need to add a talented offensive weapon at the position in the draft to solidify the group.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys