Why the Cowboys must consider Kyle Pitts if he falls to them

Kyle Pitts, Florida Gators, (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Kyle Pitts, Florida Gators, (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys recently signed former Washington Football Team tight end Jeremy Sprinkle. Sprinkle, who accrued 301 receiving yards and three touchdowns during his four-year stint in Washington, will join a Dallas tight end group headlined by Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz.

Jarwin, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear last season, is currently projected to be the teams’ starter at the position. The 26-year old had his best statistical season back in 2019 when he managed to haul in 31 catches for 365 yards and three receiving touchdowns. Following that season, the organization decided to extend the athletic young tight end to a four-year deal worth slightly over $20 million.

The six-foot-five, 260-pound pass-catcher has long been an object of affection for many fans of America’s Team. Many fans and analysts expect him to develop into a high-end producer at the position moving forward. However, in light of the fact that Jarwin is coming off a serious injury and has never actually produced at a high level for an entire season, is it possible that some of those projections are misguided?

The hype for Jarwin has even led many Dallas fans and analysts to suggest that his presence, along with that of backup tight end Dalton Schultz, should be enough to dissuade the team from drafting tight end Kyle Pitts. Schultz had 63 catches and 615 receiving yards in relief of Jarwin last year. This is ludicrous.

Pitts, who Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones is reportedly infatuated with, is generally considered to be one of the most talented players in this year’s draft class. The 20-year posted an unreal season for the Florida Gators in 2020 and finished his campaign with 770 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns (third-most in the NCAA) while only playing eight games.

The Florida products’ efforts earned him the prestigious John Mackey Award (most outstanding tight end) and allowed him to finish 10th in Heisman voting last season. Pitts followed up that outstanding season by posting an arguably even more impressive showing during his Pro Day. The six-foot-six, 245-pound prospect ran a jaw-dropping 4.44 (unofficial) 40-yard dash and measured in at over 83 inches, longer than any pass-catching prospect measured at a combine in the past 20 years.

The young prospect has been described as a “unicorn” (a label he embraces) because of his truly rare combination of size, speed, and pass-catching ability. These facts make it extraordinarily unlikely that Pitts actually falls to the team at the tenth-overall pick and there are some legitimate arguments that there are other prospects better suited to fill the teams’ needs (like cornerback Patrick Surtain II).

However, if Pitts is available for Dallas to take with their top pick they at least need to consider selecting him. He would be a substantial upgrade for the team at the tight end position and might arguably be the single-most talented player in this draft class.

There are several legitimate arguments for going in another direction with the tenth overall pick. It is also highly unlikely he even falls to Dallas, though that was also the belief of the teams’ top pick last year, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. However, the teams’ current tight end group should not result in the team automatically taking him off of their board.

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The Dallas Cowboys have a whopping nine other picks (some of which could be used to trade for another first-round pick) to use to address their needs on the defensive side of the ball. Both Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz are solid players, but they should not dissuade Dallas from selecting a player of Pitts’ caliber.