The Dallas Cowboys said goodbye to Jason Witten after 16 seasons, handing the keys to the tight end room this offseason to Blake Jarwin.
While Witten earned 15 seasons of 60-plus receptions, including 63 for 529 yards and four TDs in 2019, Jarwin has 58 total receptions in three years in Dallas. Last season, the 25-year-old earned 31 catches for 365 yards and three scores playing behind Witten.
With the veteran gone, the Cowboys signed Jarwin to a new contract and will give him a chance to earn a significant role in the offense.
"I'm excited for the task," Jarwin recently told the team's official website. "I'm grateful that they believe in me to be the future of the tight end position. It's my job to never be content with that. To just say 'I got a great deal now and I can coast.' That's never been my approach and that won't be approach in the future. Now I have to push myself even harder and prove that I deserve what they gave me."
Dallas upgraded the receiver corps by re-signing Amari Cooper and adding first-round pick CeeDee Lamb, retained quarterback Dak Prescott on the franchise tag and still boasts Ezekiel Elliott to eat out of the backfield and a solid offensive line even with Travis Frederick retiring. The TE spot sits as the biggest question mark on offense.
Jarwin sits as the clear starter. The Cowboys also signed Blake Bell, a blocking tight end. Dalton Shultz enters his third season after catching just one pass last year. Cole Hikutini and undrafted free agents Sean McKeon and Charlie Taumoepeau round out the corps.
In an offense that should be potent in Mike McCarthy's first season, Jarwin has the chance to play a major role. While he's shown flashes of dynamic pass-catching ability in the past, the tight end hasn't been consistent enough to be an every-game threat. He hopes learning from Witten for another year will help the potential breakout year.
"I never once took for granted what he coached me. I'm thankful for what he did," Jarwin said of Witten. "It's going to help me moving forward."