The Dallas Cowboys could be in luck this offseason with a potential oversaturated tight end market which can drive prices down.
One of the positions of need the Dallas Cowboys will have to address will be the tight end position. Even if they decide to bring back tight end Jason Witten, another player will have to be signed to compete with the current roster.
Much to the chagrin of some Cowboy fans, Witten could end up back in Dallas. I’m not opposed to the idea as long as he is not the featured player at the position. I believe he could be beneficial as a role player on this team.
Tight end Blake Jarwin is who a lot of Cowboy fans wanted to be the primary target in this offense. His work between the hashes and up the seams of the field was a true threat to defenses. The only concern is his ability to be an inline blocker.
Most players gain strength from offseason to offseason but Jarwin simply doesn’t possess the strength to consistently be an effective blocker on this team. By no means am I running Jarwin out of town but I do believe an all-around tight end is needed.
Recently released Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen would be nice if this was five years ago. His injury history and age make a marriage unlikely. Los Angeles Chargers and Atlanta Falcons tight ends Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper are good options but both will probably ask for top of the market deals that would be too rich for Dallas to become players. Indianapolis Colts tight end Eric Ebron is too similar to Jarwin to really make sense.
Hypothetical trade candidates include Tampa Bay Buccaneers pick tight end O.J. Howard or Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton although both of those would require something in return and the dollar amount associated with both might be a non-negotiable for this team.
The hope and idea are that the Pittsburgh Steelers make tight end Vance McDonald available this offseason. McDonald is 30 years old and has a club option of $6.5 million dollars. Coming off a year where he only caught 38 passes, the Steelers could move on and find a younger and cheaper option.
If McDonald’s club option is declined, I really think that he could flourish with the Dallas Cowboys. McDonald shared time with current Detroit Lions tight end Jesse James and this allowed him to have the best run-blocking grade amongst tight ends with at least 100 snaps played in 2018 according to Pro Football Focus.
What would the trio of McDonald, Jarwin, and Witten open up for the Cowboys wide receivers, whoever it’s going to be? This trio would arguably be the best collection of tight ends on any team in the NFL.
Some critics would ask if McDonald is so good, then why did he have such a down year? The answers simply come down to quarterback play. Pittsburgh had a quarterback carousel this year and combine that with McDonald being the single primary tight end were big contributors.
Coming to Dallas would put McDonald in a familiar position of sharing time. Getting a dominant run-blocking tight end with above-average pass-catching skills would be a great get for Dallas. Currently, it is an either-or proposition with the current players under contract.
The Dallas Cowboys don’t need a prima donna when it comes to the tight end position. There are already enough mouths that need to be fed in this offense. The Cowboys just need a tight end who can come in with his lunch pail and generate movement at the line of scrimmage.