On Friday, March 11, the Dallas Cowboys decided to release kicker Greg Zuerlein and tight end Blake Jarwin. In a situation where the team has to make some much-needed cuts, these two certainly make sense.
Jarwin has been dealing with continuous injuries since the start of his career. After reports said that the former starting tight end would not be ready in time for 2022 after his hip injury, the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on backup TE Dalton Schultz this week … then dropped the hammer on Friday afternoon.
Needless to say, Zuerlein was incredibly inconsistent for the entirety of the 2021 season. The team’s veteran kicker missed six field goals and six extra-point kicks this year. He missed all three attempts from over 50 yards. While his longtime fan and special teams coach John Fassel tried to stand behind the kicker, his inconsistency became a nagging issue that left Jerry Jones incredibly frustrated. So much so, that the team signed inexperienced kicker Chris Naggar to a futures contract in February.
Jarwin has been plagued by injuries for his entire career. He has two one-game seasons and one eight-game season in his Cowboys tenure. The tight end tore his ACL in 2020 and sustained a hip injury early in 2021. Last week, Michael Gehlken reported that Jarwin’s hip surgery was “very uncommon for an active NFL player.” While the Cowboys may have initially considered letting his replacement walk after he earned himself a higher paycheck in free agency, they were essentially left with no choice but to put Schultz on the franchise tag.
The Dallas Cowboys have released kicker Greg Zuerlein and tight end Blake Jarwin ahead of free agency
For all of the reasons above, these cuts aren’t entirely surprising. These players did not give the Cowboys what they needed in 2021. The Zuerlein cut saves the Cowboys nearly $2.5 million. It’s not a huge number, but it certainly isn’t chump change when you consider how much Dallas is struggling with the cap this offseason.
For Jarwin, the move saves the team $3.85 million. The tight end signed a four-year, $22 million deal in 2020, but he has essentially been on the injured reserve ever since that deal was made. According to Todd Archer, things could get complicated for the Cowboys if Jarwin chooses to file for injury protection. If the NFL rules in the tight end’s favor, the front office will be required to pay Jarwin’s entire contract to him.
These were two easy goodbyes for the Cowboys, but more moves are coming. Dallas fans need to be prepared to say more farewells. Some of those may be to players who are much more liked than Jarwin and Zuerlein.