With NFL free agency officially beginning March 18 and many moves already underway, this series will take a position by position look at the Dallas Cowboys roster as it stands now. Today, we will look at the wide receivers and tight ends.
Position: Wide Receivers
In his first full season in Dallas, Amari Cooper set career highs in receiving yards (1,189) and touchdowns (8) and will now remain in Dallas long term. The four-time Pro-Bowler agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract Monday evening. The agreement comes as a relief for the Cowboys, as they lock down their most prolific passing game weapon. Cooper turned down NFC East rival Washington to stay a Cowboy, per Adam Schefter.
Cooper is only 25 years old, with room to grow into even more of a star. With Kellen Moore still calling plays, the offense that showed flashes in 2019 must now show greater consistency going forward. Cooper must play a huge role in that progress. He appeared to disappear in critical games, most notably vs. New England and in a must-win Week 16 against Philadelphia. Cooper has been paid. Now he must show he was worth it.
The former third-round draft pick Gallup completed a fantastic sophomore season in 2019. Despite missing two games, Gallup accumulated 1107 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Now with Randall Cobb signing with the Houston Texans, Gallup will see his role increase even more as the teams undisputed WR2.
The Cowboys liked Tavon Austin enough in 2018 to bring him back for one more year, but he did not make much of an impact as either a receiver or a punt returner. He finished with 177 receiving yards and one touchdown, a 59 yarder against the Los Angeles Rams. It appears unlikely Austin will return to Dallas in 2020, and the Cowboys could look to free agency or the draft for a new deep threat.
Devin Smith, the former Ohio State Buckeye was used minimally in 2019, recording only five receptions for 113 yards and one touchdown, all in September. Smith has one year remaining on his contract with the Cowboys, and it remains to be seen if his involvement in the offense will increase under Mike McCarthy.
Ventell Bryant had only one catch with the Cowboys in 2019, a 15-yard touchdown reception on Thanksgiving against Buffalo. However, he was also a solid contributor on special teams. Bryant, who spent September of 2019 on the practice squad, is under contract for one more year.
Wilson’s only contribution as a receiver in 2019 came in a Week 4 loss to the New York Jets, catching five passes for 46 yards. He ended up on injured reserve in December.
Position: Tight Ends
It appears Jason Witten’s Hall of Fame career in Dallas is over. It was announced Tuesday afternoon that the tight end had reached a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. After spending the 2018 season in the broadcasting booth, Witten came out of retirement to have a respectable 2019 season, especially as a red-zone threat. He recorded 63 receptions for 529 yards and four touchdowns in his final season with the Cowboys.
As a result of Witten’s departure, the Cowboys will look to Jarwin to pick up the mantle as the top tight end. Jarwin is exceptionally gifted athletically and has shined in the limited opportunities he’s been given. The Cowboys will almost certainly look for another tight end to pair with Jarwin in free agency or the draft.
The 2018 fourth-round draft pick was almost exclusively a blocker in 2019. It is unlikely his role will expand any more than that in 2020, barring injury.
The next piece in this series will examine the Cowboys offensive line. Stay safe everyone!
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