by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
There were already questions about the wide receiving corps for the Dallas Cowboys, especially after they cut ties with Dez Bryant. When Jason Witten unexpectedly retired it created an even bigger void as the team lacked a true alternative. Just look at the current depth chart:
- Geoff Swaim
- Blake Jarwin
- Rico Gathers
Is anyone there going to catch your attention? Between Bryant (133 targets) and Witten (87 targets) there are 220 targets from ’17 unaccounted for, and someone is going to get an opportunity to grab them.
According to Jori Epstein of the Dallas Morning News (click here for the article) Blake Jarwin could be making a play to step up and assume a portion of them:
But it was Jarwin, not Swaim, making a splash in offseason activities. Dak Prescott regularly targeted Jarwin up the middle, particularly in red-zone situations. Jarwin’s been studying Jason Witten film and Prescott spoke highly of his ability to get open. It was a step in the right direction, Jarwin said. “I’m happy to continue to build that chemistry between us,” Jarwin said, “and the respect that I can be in the spot so he can get to me and trust in me that I’ll catch the ball.”
Jarwin, an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma State, is listed at 6’5” and 260 lbs. Hardly used as a rookie (he appeared in 1 game), Jarwin was also underwhelming during his college career (41 receptions for 616 yards and 5 TD over three years). It’s hard to get excited, though seeing tight ends being unproductive during their college days isn’t a rarity.
You would think the Cowboys will keep a close eye on the waiver wire during the preseason, seeing if they can find a veteran outcast to help fill the void. That said, Jarwin is building a rapport and has an opportunity to really step up and produce (especially with their top two TD pass catchers gone).
Is he going to be a TE1? It’s unlikely, but in deeper leagues there’s a chance that he emerges as a viable streaming option with the potential for more. He’s worth keeping an eye on and seeing if he can be this year’s unheralded breakout at a position that generally seems to develop them.
Sources – ESPN, Dallas Morning News
Make sure to check out all of our 2018 preseason rankings: