NFL Insider Drops Surprise Update on Cowboys Rookie: ‘Turned Heads’

Jake Ferguson

Getty Jake Ferguson of Wisconsin runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Dallas Cowboys are gearing up for the 2022 season, and that’s meant bringing in new weapons for star quarterback Dak Prescott.

The departures of Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson Jr. are ones to be monitored as Dallas moves on, but the team added an influx of young talent through the draft picks of Jalen Tolbert and Jake Ferguson.

Tolbert is a proper wide receiver out of South Alabama, while Ferguson impressed as a tight end at Wisconsin. Now with rookie offseason work underway, NFL insider Matt Lombardo says that the new Cowboys TE is continuing to impress.

“#Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson was a standout at rookie minicamp this weekend,” Lombardo wrote. “Those around the team believe he ‘has the chance to be special.’ The @BadgerFootball standout turned heads with his physicality, and ‘really solid body control in the passing game.’ #NFL.”

Ferguson being an immediate impact player as a rookie would mean big things for the Cowboys offense, but it would also mean big things in terms of how Dallas’ front office approaches the position and future contracts.

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Ferguson’s Background

After selecting offensive lineman Tyler Smith and defensive end Sam Williams in the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL draft, Dallas injected new life in the offense with Tolbert and Ferguson, the latter of which is a player with tremendous upside as a fourth-round pick.

Lombardo actually touches on why Ferguson could become a monstrous tight end in the NFL: his physique is as impressive as any.

“At 6-foot-5 and 244 pounds, Jake Ferguson has the potential to be a real weapon in two-tight end sets opposite Dalton Schultz,” Lombardo followed up to his report.

Ferguson’s stats don’t exactly jump off the page, but he also played for a Wisconsin offense that struggled in 2020 and 2021. According to Bucky’s 5th Quarter, the Badgers averaged 25.4 points per game and 370.9 yards per game last fall, ranking 86th and 89th in the FBS respectively.

Over four years on the field in Madison, Wisconsin, Ferguson caught 145 receptions for 1618 yards and 13 touchdowns per Sports Reference. He was fairly consistent, with his receiving yards totals ending between 400 and 500 yards in all three seasons that he played at least 13 games.

The kicker to Ferguson’s size and resume is his pedigree: Ferguson’s grandfather is legendary Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez, who piloted the program to three Big 10 titles during his tenure from 1990-2005.


Cowboys Star May Not Benefit from Ferguson

In response to Lombardo’s initial post, Footballguys.com co-owner Sigmund Bloom made an interesting point about how Ferguson standing out may motivate the Cowboys to hold off on paying star tight end Dalton Schultz this offseason.

“Remember this name if July 15 passes and the Cowboys haven’t signed Dalton Schulz to a long term deal,” Bloom wrote.

Dallas franchised Schultz earlier this offseason after the 25-year-old put together an impressive season in 2021, catching 78 passes for 808 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns. Schultz is due his second NFL contract, but the Cowboys have not struck a deal with him yet.

If Ferguson is looking like a major factor for this fall, Dallas and owner Jerry Jones could be thinking that they let Schultz play before getting paid.

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