Cowboys to Execute Important Contract Move With TE Blake Jarwin: Report

Blake Jarwin

Getty Blake Jarwin

With NFL free agency rapidly approaching, the Dallas Cowboys are hustling to retain as many of their unsigned players as possible, starting with Blake Jarwin.

According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the Cowboys likely will place a second-round tender on the restricted free-agent tight end, which would pay him roughly $3.3 million for 2020.

If tendered, he’d still be allowed to negotiate with outside teams, and if an offer sheet were signed, Dallas would receive a second-round draft pick. They’d also have seven days to match the deal.

Free agency is set to commence Wednesday, March 18, preceded by a two-day legal tampering window beginning March 16.

Jarwin’s agent, Kelli Masters, met with Dallas brass at last week’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, where the sides discussed a long-term contract for the 26-year-old pass-catcher, as previously reported.

A 2017 undrafted free agent by way of Oklahoma State, Jarwin has been buried in obscurity during his first three professional seasons. When he wasn’t taking a backseat to Jason Witten, the 6-foot-5 safety blanket was fighting for scraps in a committee approach.

Following a mostly redshirt rookie campaign, Jarwin made 16 appearances (four starts) in 2018, logging 27 catches for 307 yards and three touchdowns. Witten’s unretirement this past season pushed Jarwin down the depth chart, and the result was another nondescript year: 31 receptions, 365 yards, three TDs.

Once he puts pen to paper in some capacity, Jarwin will become only the second Cowboys TE under contract, joining 2018 fourth-rounder Dalton Schultz. Witten, an unrestricted free agent, is unlikely to return.

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Cooper Rush To be Retained, Too

Per Archer, the Cowboys are also expected to tender backup quarterback Cooper Rush ahead of the league’s signing period. The tender is projected to cost $2.1 million.

A 2017 UDFA like Jarwin, Rush has spent his first three professional seasons holding a clipboard for Dak Prescott. He’s attempted three career regular-season passes for a whopping two yards, adding 13 yards on two scrambles. He made two appearances in 2019.

Rush will return as Prescott’s understudy, assuming the two-time Pro Bowler inks his expected franchise tag or a long-term contract. There’s a distinct possibility Dallas again carries only two signal-callers on the 53-man roster when it’s eventually whittled down.

It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, the new coaching staff, led by head coach Mike McCarthy, can coax out of Rush — what they can do that the previous regime couldn’t. The Cowboys appointed a new QB coach, Doug Nussmeier, but retained coordinator Kellen Moore to ease the offensive transition under McCarthy.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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