Skip to main content

High Low

High Low: No pressing need for TE in Cowboys' draft


FRISCO, Texas — There is at least one position the Dallas Cowboys can comfortably wave off in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, and that's at tight end. That's because they've found a new heir to the throne in the post-Jason Witten era, namely Jake Ferguson, and they're only one year removed from using a premium pick on Luke Schoonmaker.

They're also not lacking for talent behind those two, with Peyton Hendershot preparing to battle with impressive undrafted talent John Stephens Jr. — who is returning from a season-ending injury — while Princeton Fant may have ended the Sean McKeon era.

The team is both young and talented at tight end, making their approach to it in the draft one that shouldn't impede the finding of solutions at other more needy spots.

The brand-new series "High Low" dives into it, with each edition to follow focusing on a different position group leading up to draft week.

Odds: Extremely Low

Jake Ferguson: The only thing you can rightfully say about Ferguson is that he has indeed arrived as the next coming at the tight end position for the Cowboys. The torch has officially been passed from Dalton Schultz to his fellow former fourth-round pick, by way of the Cowboys parting ways with Schultz in 2023 free agency and tossing the keys to Ferguson. All he went on to do was have a breakout year that drew compliments from all, even future Hall of Fame tight end Travis Kelce, and what's pleasantly terrifying is Ferguson is just getting started.

Luke Schoonmaker: When Schoonmaker was selected in the second round of last year's draft, it didn't rattle Ferguson in the least, instead immediately getting to work mentoring the former Wolverine. A battle with plantar fasciitis in training camp kept Schoonmaker off of the field until the season got underway, however, and slowed his acclimation to the NFL level. He'd ultimately look better and better as time wore on, but he's now rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery; and eyes are on him to take a sizable leap in his second year alongside Ferguson.

Peyton Hendershot: Having shown impressive flashes as a rookie, Hendershot raised eyebrows in going from an undrafted free agent in 2022 to a notable talent that very season. His sophomore year in Dallas was wrought with challenges though, including a long stint on injured reserve in addition to fact the Cowboys didn't use a second-round pick on a tight end in 2023 without having a plan on playing him quite a bit. This means Hendershot, who did find a way to impact games on special teams last year, must make every single rep count going forward.

John Stephens Jr: Much like DeMarvion Overshown on the defensive side of the ball, Stephens was stellar in training camp as a rookie, despite being undrafted, and showed potential as more than just a tight end but also as a lengthy, red zone option at receiver. It'll be exciting to see how he bounces back from a torn ACL and what waves he might make on this depth chart, and maybe even a ripple or two in the receivers'. He's most certainly one to keep an eye on.

Princeton Fant: Usually, you'd see Sean McKeon's name here somewhere, seeing as it's an annual tradition at this point, but McKeon has yet to be re-signed in 2024 and it's in large part due to the progress of Fant. The latter was undrafted in 2023 and after spending plenty of time on the practice squad as insurance while he developed, but also earned two elevations as a rookie. Head coach and offensive playcaller Mike McCarthy sees something(s) he likes in Fant, and that includes as a run blocker who can release to catch a random pass when asked to — essentially what McKeon brought to the table.

Between the electric play of Ferguson, the expectations of Schoonmaker and the exciting unknown that lives within Stephens — blended with what Hendershot and Fant can be in their respective roles — the tight end position is one carrying a very low level of concern right now.

The odds of the Cowboys using a pick on another one so soon is as close to zero as you'll get without it actually being zero.

The only thing I could foresee changing this would be if Broc-... *signal fades* …

Related Content