Dallas Cowboys: Does Blake Jarwin’s new deal end the Jason Witten era?

Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed tight end Blake Jarwin to a new four-year deal, potentially ending the Jason Witten era.

On Monday, the Dallas Cowboys secured their most important position for the 2020 season by using the exclusive franchise tag to retain pending unrestricted free agent quarterback Dak Prescott. The Cowboys then locked up their tight end position afterwards.

According to ESPN.com, the Cowboys are signing restricted free agent tight end Blake Jarwin to a new four-year deal potentially worth $24.25 million with $9.25 million guaranteed. Jarwin joined the Cowboys in 2017 as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State.

Last season, Jarwin started in a career-high seven games and recorded 31 receptions for 365 yards and three touchdowns on 41 targets. This was despite the presence of longtime Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who returned to play for Dallas last season after spending 2018 retired and as the color analyst for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Witten’s return to the Cowboys figured to stunt the growth of Jarwin, although the third-year tight end still posted improved numbers from the previous season. With the 25-year old clearly entrenched as the future of the tight end position in Dallas, Witten’s future with America’s Team is in jeopardy.

Earlier this year, the soon-to-be 38-year old Witten publicly announced he wants to continue playing football for a 17th season. But he also acknowledged that it might not be for the Cowboys. That’s due in part to the new coaching staff in Dallas headed up by former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.

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Last season, Witten proved he can still be an effective tight end posting 63 catches for 529 yards and four scores off 83 targets. Yet, it seems more likely the future Hall of Famer would have to accepted a reduced role to remain in Dallas. Especially considering the deal the Cowboys just gave to the much younger Jarwin. The reality is this news could shut the door on the Jason Witten era in Dallas.