Jason Witten unlikely to return to Cowboys after Blake Jarwin tender
The Dallas Cowboys are expected to place a second-round restricted free agent tender on tight end Blake Jarwin, and that could mean the end of Jason Witten’s tenure with the team.
The Cowboys are planning to use the high-value tender on Jarwin, which will make his salary a projected $3.3 million next season and make it so any team that wanted to sign the free agent would have to give up a second-round pick. Patrik Walker of CBS Sports reports that the Cowboys are actually planning to sign Jarwin to a long-term deal, and their desire to make him their No. 1 tight end is the main reason they have not made an enticing offer to Witten.
As Evan Silva of Establish the Run notes, Jarwin showed flashes last season of being able to play a significant role in the passing game.
Lots of offseason left but #Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin early candidate for big 2020 role increase:
* Jason Witten is FA
* Jarwin slated for 2nd-round RFA tender
* 7th among 39 TEs in yards/route run in '19 (@PFF)
* 6th among 35 TEs in yards/target
* Blocking could be big obstacle
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) March 2, 2020
Jarwin caught just 31 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns in 2019, which was lower production than Witten across the board. However, it seems clear that the Cowboys believe he could do more than Witten if given the same opportunities going forward.
Jerry Jones recently hinted that he wants Witten to return next season, but that could be more about the relationship the veteran has with the organization. All signs point to Jarwin taking over as the team’s top tight end.