In a tweet on Wednesday, September 13, Bryant posted a picture of Pitts standing wide open on a play against the Carolina Panthers in their Week 1 victory, captioning it: “Get Kyle Pitts to Dallas please!!! This is unacceptable!!! He deserves better.”
Pitts, the fourth overall pick by the Falcons in 2021, played a minimal role in the 24-10 win, making just two catches on three targets for 44 receiving yards. Despite the low production, he was still Atlanta’s leading receiver on the day, given that quarterback Desmond Ridder threw just 18 passes for a total of 115 yards and a touchdown.
Kyle Pitts Would Represent Upgrade at Tight End for Cowboys
The Cowboys are currently going through a revamp of the tight end position following the departure of former starter Dalton Schultz. While Schultz was clearly Dak Prescott’s favorite security blanket and No. 2 receiver behind CeeDee Lamb — he averaged 89 targets during the previous three seasons — Dallas has moved in a different direction with second-year Jake Ferguson as the current starter.
Ferguson was targeted in the Week 1 win against the New York Giants, producing a game-high seven targets. However, he caught just two of those passes for 11 yards, and he dropped two passes.
Given Pitts’ track record, acquiring Pitts would give the Cowboys a clear upgrade over their current group of tight ends: Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot and Luke Schoonmaker. Pitts, however, is in the third year of his four-year rookie deal.
Kyle Pitts Stuck in Run-Heavy Offense With Falcons
Despite entering the 2021 NFL drft as one of the most highly touted tight ends in recent memory — he is the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history — Pitts has been up and down in his first two seasons in the league.
During his rookie season in 2021, Pitts did deliver a 1,000-yard campaign (15.1 yards per reception) and was named a Pro Bowler as a result. Still, he caught only one touchdown pass. During an injury-plagued campaign in 2022 that saw him limited to just 10 games due to a torn MCL, his stats dropped off a cliff. He posted just 28 receptions for 356 receiving yards (12.7 yards per reception).
Part of that statistical dip was due to the Falcons’ changing quarterbacks during those seasons, going from former NFL MVP Matt Ryan to the more run-oriented Marcus Mariota. While that explains the dip in many statistical categories, including Pitts going from 60.4 receiving yards per game to 35.6 receiving yards per game, it doesn’t entirely explain how Pitts went from a solid 61.8% catch rate in 2021 to a 47.5% catch rate in 2022.
Despite Pitts’ regression last season compared to his rookie season, the advanced analytics still paint Pitts as one of the better tight ends in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Pitts posted an 80.3 offensive grade and 82.3 receiving yards during his rookie season, the fifth-highest offensive grade and sixth-highest receiving grade among starting tight ends that season.
In 2022, Pitts was still one of the better tight ends, posting a 72.7 offensive grade and 76.6 receiving grade, ranking ninth in offensive grade and eighth in receiving grade among all starting tight ends.
He still has the potential of emerge as an elite tight end in the next several seasons. With that being said, although Atlanta clearly is geared toward a run-heavy offense, it’s hard envisioning the Falcons trading their best receiving option when Drake London is the only other proven receiving target in their offense.