The Cowboys franchise has a great history of tight ends such as Billy Joe Dupree, Jay Novacek, and in recent history, Jason Witten. One of the traits these individuals share is being that go-to tight end for the Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks. That ole reliable role at tight end has been the Cowboy’s way when it comes to who their tight end is. The ability to make that important catch for a first down or a touchdown and being a willing blocker.
As for the current Cowboys’ tight end room, the potential is there for them to be one of the most underrated positions on this offense. Recently there have been some contract disputes between the Cowboys and Dalton Schultz but nevertheless, I believe he will be back on the Cowboys even if it’s just for a year. However, the tight ends behind him are no slouches, just untapped potential. So let’s break down what the Cowboys’ depth chart for the tight end position will look like this season.
Cowboys TE1- Dalton Schultz
In Schultz’s past two seasons with the Cowboys, his production has increased as the number one tight end. Former Cowboy Blake Jarwin dealt with major injuries in both years, opening up an opportunity for Schultz. Schultz has shown he’s Dak Prescott’s go-to guy when they get a first down, especially in short-yardage situations.
Also at times, they look to get the touchdown when they’re a few yards away. In these past two seasons, Schultz has accumulated 141 catches, 1,423 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns. He is shown to be a solid receiving threat but as a blocker, there’s room to grow.
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Cowboys TE2 – Sean McKeon
When it comes to former 2020 UDFA Sean Mckeon, we have only seen a minimal amount of what he brings to the Cowboys. He’s mainly been on special teams, but this year he has shown that he can also be a solid receiving tight end when given the opportunity. Accumulating four catches, 27 yards, and a touchdown he caught on thanksgiving against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The main concern about Mckeon is if can he stay healthy. He was out early last season due to an ankle injury. Overall, he has all the potential to be that tight end two, it’s all up to him to put it all together.
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Cowboys TE 3- Jake Ferguson
Last but surely not least, we have this year’s fourth-round pick, former Wisconsin tight end, Jake Ferguson. Ferguson may have the highest ceiling among the other two tight ends. Coming from a football family, his dad played at Nebraska, his brother played safety at Wisconsin from 2013 to 2017 and his grandfather is Wisconsin’s legendary coach Barry Alvarez. Ferguson’s time at Wisconsin showed he could play from the beginning. During his freshman year, he racked up 36 catches, 456 receiving yards, and four touchdowns. Throughout Ferguson’s four years at Wisconsin, he continued to produce at a high level.
As for Ferguson’s overall skill set, you do see some Schultz similarities like the ability to be a reliable pass catcher for short-yardage gain for the first down. However, Ferguson brings a little extra to his game, especially after the catch. He has the shiftiness to break out for those few extra yards. Also, he can be used as a deep threat, and he’s shown to be a solid willing blocker.
You may ask, with all those traits why do I have him as the third-string tight end? The reason? He is a rookie and the Cowboys have not been known to use mid to late-round draftees early. Yes, he has got those starter reps early in OTAs due to Schultz not being there but Schultz is already back and the competition will be on at training camp. Ferguson has taken advantage of the opportunity and shown some good reps.
However, I don’t see the Cowboys throwing him into the fire early if they still have Schultz. I believe they will ease him into the offense throughout the season. His role at first may be as a blocking tight end but eventually will be used as a receiving tight end as well. Overall, I see the Cowboys running more than a 12-personnel offense and I see Ferguson involved in it.
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