JASON WITTEN IS BACK!!! Get excited Cowboys fans!
After retiring and spending time in the broadcast booth a season ago, TE Jason Witten will be returning to the Dallas Cowboys! This is great news for the Cowboys, as TE was a position that plagued them for much of last season. We all know how important TEs are for any team, but it seems like they have more of a significance when it comes to Cowboys QBs. Tony Romo loved having Jason Witten around during his time with the Cowboys, and that love of the Cowboys’ great TE translated right over to Dak Prescott.
Last season, the Cowboys’ TEs combined for a total of 68 catches for 710 yards and four TDs. That was between a committee of four TEs, Blake Jarwin, Geoff Swaim, Dalton Schultz and Rico Gathers. It was truly a TE by committee situation for Dallas, which didn’t work out too well. Dak Prescott didn’t have his go-to-guy early in the season, because that guy used to be Witten. He later found a go-to-guy in Amari Cooper, but even then, there seemed to be something missing.
In his last season with the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Witten produced 63 receptions for 560 yards and five TDs. He may not have been a big play threat, but Witten still knew how to get open at exactly the right moments. He always seemed to be there when Dak Prescott needed him. With Jason Witten returning, one of Prescott’s security blankets will be back on the field. This will no doubt help Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense, but it doesn’t mean it’s fixed.
Dallas isn’t out of the TE woods yet
The Dallas Cowboys have been talked about as one of the teams in play for a TE this offseason, for good reason. Jason Witten has returned and will help, but Dallas shouldn’t take themselves out of the market for a TE. With that being said, I think Dallas can look specifically in the draft for TE, rather than having to do so during free agency. Not having a first-round pick isn’t ideal, but most TEs don’t go in the first-round anyway, especially when there will be a run on QBs and defensive lineman in this draft.
Holding the 58th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, there will be plenty of TEs available to the Cowboys when they go on the clock. If they decided to wait until their third-round pick, 90th overall, Dallas would still have several TE options available. If I’m the Cowboys, my draft plan still revolves heavily around drafting a TE in either the second or third rounds. Let’s take a look at some TEs who could be available for them at either of those spots.
Irv Smith Jr. – Alabama
Kaden Smith – Stanford
Jace Sternberger – Texas A&M
Caleb Wilson – UCLA
Josh Oliver – San Jose St.
Zach Gentry – Michigan
Tommy Sweeney – Boston College
Foster Moreau – LSU
Those are just a few names the Cowboys could have available to them when they go on the clock. Regardless of who they take, they have to take someone in either the second or third round. Yes, Jason Witten will be a nice addition to the offense this season. He alone can produce what the other four TEs produced a season ago. The problem is, his deal is only a one year deal. If Dallas doesn’t draft a TE this year, what happens if Witten decides to retire again after the 2019 season? Then they’re left with a TE by committee approach again, which didn’t work out too well the first time.
Jason Witten is only a temporary solution. Very temporary. Dallas needs to find their TE of the future in the 2019 NFL Draft. It can’t hurt to have two good TEs. Witten can carry the load, but the other, whoever that may be, can step in and give Dak Prescott another receiving option to work with. Plus, Witten can help this young TE learn a lot about what it takes to be successful.
JASON WITTEN IS BACK, and that’s awesome, but the Cowboys shouldn’t get comfortable with where they sit at TE.