Dallas Cowboys should target TE Mark Andrews in the draft

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 02: Mark Andrews /

The Dallas Cowboys will certainly be looking to the future at tight end during the 2018 NFL Draft and Mark Andrews is the bull’s eye.

The Dallas Cowboys need to address the future at tight end and there’s no better prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft than Oklahoma Sooners standout Mark Andrews.

This is not to say that future Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten is no longer of any use. His contract extension signed just last year indicates that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon – at least in 2018. But for how long can Witten be the primary security blanket for young quarterback Dak Prescott?

I say it’s time to prepare for tomorrow now.

Anytime you’ve got a quarterback like 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield that generates so much excitement, just look at the players who surround him. Monster offensive tackle Orlando Brown is in that class – and so is Andrews. Oklahoma is one of the top programs in the country, so this certainly says something.

Andrews has all the measurables that you want in a primary tight end. He’s got solid hands, good running ability and he’s a willing blocker. In fact, Andrews has some ‘clutch’ abilities that remind you of Witten when reviewing his highlights with the Sooners.

I’m a big fan of Rico Gathers, the long-term project from Baylor that hasn’t made his way onto the field yet. There’s no doubting the potential that Gathers brings to a Dallas offense that was often stagnant in 2017 – but we’re now heading into year three for the massive tight end and there’s reason to believe that he may not actually pan out.

Gathers is talking a big game right now, but be it that severe concussion suffered last August or simply his lack of football experience, the Dallas Cowboys have to cover themselves at tight end right now.

And let’s not count on veterans like Geoff Swaim or James Hanna too much. Both of these backups have probably hit their peak and both are entering contract years in ’18.

If you’re keeping score, the Dallas Cowboys could be down three tight ends by this time next year depending on what happens with Witten, Swaim and Hanna – and what if the franchise loses patience with Gathers over the course of next season?

Again, Mark Andrews might be the guy for the future.

There’s all kinds of opinions regarding positions of need for the Dallas Cowboys this offseason. Having said that, there’s no way that tight end is outside the top three by any marker. There’s certainly some healthy debates to be had for other tight end prospects like Hayden Hurst of South Carolina – at least if you’re interested in a 25-year-old rookie, Mike Gesicki of Penn State or even Dalton Schultz of Stanford.

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I would expect one of the top college tight end prospects to land in Dallas by no later than the fourth round and probably before that. If grabbing Mark Andrews requires a second round pick, it would make a lot of sense for the Cowboys to secure the future of this position with a blue-chip prospect who will help that offseason goal of making the Dallas offense as ‘Dak Friendly’ as possible.