Affirming what was feared Sunday night, Blake Jarwin is done for the remainder of the season.
The Dallas Cowboys announced Monday the fourth-year tight end suffered a torn ACL in their Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Jarwin, 26, will undergo corrective surgery and be fully recovered in time for the 2021 campaign.
“It’s pretty clear that Jarwin is unfortunately going to have to have his ACL repaired, and we all know what that means. Obviously a tough loss for us,” Cowboys VP Stephen Jones conceded on 105.3 The Fan, via the team’s official website.
Jarwin, who made one catch for 12 yards, went down in the first half against the Rams, crumbling to the SoFi Stadium turf while running a route. The injury was of the non-contact variety and he was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game — two dreaded signs. Jarwin took an MRI that crystallized his prognosis.
A 2017 undrafted free agent, Jarwin carried into this year league-wide hype as the successor to future Hall-of-Famer Jason Witten. No sooner did Witten have both feet out the door this offseason than did Jarwin receive a four-year $24.2 million contract extension, taking home $9.2 million guaranteed, more than double the one-year, $4 million pact Witten received from the Las Vegas Raiders.
Although overshadowed by a supporting cast that boasts Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb, Jarwin developed tangible chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott and owned legitimate breakout potential.
“I know he’s a great asset to this offense,” Prescott said after the game, via ESPN. “Would hate to lose him for the rest of the year if that’s the case.”
Follow the Heavy on Cowboys Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Fortunately, Dallas boasts an extremely deep offense that flows through its collection of stud receivers and Pro Bowler Elliott. Jarwin was a distinct fourth option in the passing attack, so his loss is hardly insurmountable.
The next man up on the depth chart is 2018 fourth-round pick Dalton Schultz, who had one catch for 11 yards against the Rams. Behind Schultz are blocking specialist Blake Bell and undrafted rookie Sean McKeon, who was inactive Sunday. The Cowboys also have Cole Hikutini on the practice squad.
An ever-cryptic Stephen Jones suggested amid his radio hit Monday that he could scour the open market for additional help, though it appears the in-house talent will get immediate dibs on Jarwin’s snaps.
“We were going a little heavy there before with McKeon and certainly it’ll be his time to step up with Dalton and Bell obviously playing an even more important role going forward,” Jones said. “And certainly look to keep our tight end numbers in place. We’ll look to see what’s out there at tight end as well.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL