Dallas Cowboys training camp: Blake Jarwin is one to watch
The return of Jason Witten may have stolen the headlines, but that doesn’t mean another of the Dallas Cowboys’ tight ends isn’t set to have a terrific summer.
When it comes to tight ends for the Dallas Cowboys, all the talk this offseason has been about the return of Jason Witten. And rightfully so. At this time last year, Witten was retired and preparing for his debut as a color commentator for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
But after his first season as a broadcaster, Witten decided to return to the Cowboys. And anytime a future Hall of Famer decides to play again, that’s news that will steal all the headlines. Hence, no one is talking about the others tight ends on the Cowboys’ roster. And one insider believes we should be.
Last season, following the sudden retirement of Witten in May, the Cowboys seemed ill-prepared for the 15-year veteran’s departure. And that wasn’t due to a lack of trying. Several former tight ends have wilted under Witten’s massive shadow. Names like Martellus Bennett, Anthony Fasano, John Phillips, James Hanna, and Gavin Escobar.
The Cowboys carried four tight ends on their active roster last season. They included former seventh-rounder Geoff Swaim, undrafted second-year tight end Blake Jarwin, 2018 fourth-rounder Dalton Schultz, and former basketball star Rico Gathers. Of the four, it was Jarwin that emerged as the likely Witten replacement last year.
Undrafted out of Oklahoma State in 2017, Jarwin started in just four games last season for Dallas. But the 25-year old came alive towards the end of last year, posting 20 receptions for 228 yards and three touchdowns in the Cowboys’ last four regular-season contests.
Prior to the return of Witten, Jarwin figured to be a lock for the starting role with Swaim leaving to join the Jacksonville Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. And despite Witten stealing all the headlines, it doesn’t mean Blake isn’t set to have a breakout performance this summer.
Here’s what DallasCowboys.com’s Bryan Broaddus wrote on the team’s official website about Jarwin following the team’s first day of training camp.
"” … keep an eye on Blake Jarwin in this camp … Where I believe Jarwin has improved his game is his ability to get down the field. His movements are not stiff or robotic. There is a flow to his game, and a lot of that improvement likely stems from his work in the weight room and on the field throwing sessions with Dak Prescott prior to training camp.”"
Jason Witten’s presence could certainly stunt the growth of the entire tight ends group. But it’s more optimistic to believe the 37-year-old veteran understands his time in the league is finite. And he likely has no desire to leave the team he loves without a possible replacement. If Blake Jarwin continues to show signs he’s the heir apparent this summer, you have to believe Witten will be the perfect mentor.