Will the Dallas Cowboys trade for a tight end too?
After trading for a wide receiver this past week, could the Dallas Cowboys also try to make a move to address another area of need, this time at tight end?
The Dallas Cowboys sent shock waves throughout the NFL during their bye week, sending their 2019 first round pick to the Oakland Raiders for two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper. The 24-year old former first rounder himself addresses a major area of need for the Cowboys who possess one of the league’s worst passing offenses.
But are the Cowboys done making moves? If the answer is no, the next likely position to receive an upgrade is at tight end. Dallas lost their longtime All-Pro tight end, Jason Witten, via retirement in May. Now, Witten is the color commentator for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
To fill Witten’s massive shoes, the Cowboys carried four tight ends onto their active roster this season. The most successful far and away has been Geoff Swaim. The former seventh-rounder out of Texas is Dallas’ most complete player at the position. Swaim has recorded 19 receptions for 205 yards and a touchdown as the team’s starter through seven games.
Unfortunately. Swaim suffered a sprained MCL in Dallas’ Week Seven loss to the Washington Redskins. His status for the team’s next game, a Week Nine battle with the Tennessee Titans, is unknown.
Behind Swaim on the depth chart are tight ends Rico Gathers, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz. Gathers is a former basketball player whose development has been very slow. Jarwin was considered to be a legitimate candidate to take over the starting role this offseason but has failed to live up to that hype. And he’s been shaky as a receiver, what was once considered his best trait.
Finally, there’s Schultz, a fourth-round selection by the Cowboys this offseason out of Stanford. He’s been so disappointing that the rookie has only played in two games and has been a healthy scratch for the rest.
Considering the Cowboys lack of quality depth at the position, and their desperate need for a veteran to partner with Swaim, it’s easy to draw the conclusion that Dallas may be interested in making another trade to address their tight end needs.
One of the names that has been floated as a potential target is Pittsburgh Steelers’ tight end, Jesse James. Here’s what NFL.com’s Jeremy Bergman had to say about a possible Cowboys trade for James.
"“The Cowboys have yet to truly replace Jason Witten, so let’s see if Jones would overpay for [Jesse] James, who is in his contract year and can be replaced in Pittsburgh by Vance McDonald and Xavier Grimble. (Jesse James sounds like a Cowboy anyway, right?) Potential compensation: 2019 third-round pick.”"
A fifth-round pick out of Penn State in 2015, James is set to be a free agent in 2019. The 6-foot-7, 261-pound tight end is an excellent receiver as well as an above average run blocker. Against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week Two, James posted a career-high 138 receiving yards and a score on five catches. That’s exactly the type of production Dallas has been missing without Witten on the roster.
Some of the other names who could be potential trade targets for the Dallas Cowboys at tight end include the Baltimore Ravens’ Maxx Williams, New England Patriots’ Dwayne Allen, Cleveland Browns’ Darren Fells, and the Oakland Raiders’ Jared Cook.