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Mailbag: Where Does Tight End Rank Among Needs?


With reports of Blake Jarwin having offseason hip surgery that could affect his availability for the start of next season, and with Dalton Schultz a free agent, will tight end be maybe the biggest need on the roster now? – MIKE S / DALLAS, TX

David: There's no doubt about it, the tight end position is a problem spot — no matter how you slice it. If Blake Jarwin's availability really is in doubt, it all of a sudden makes sense that the front office hasn't ruled out the possibility of using the franchise tag on Schultz. And even if they do tag him in the next week, it makes a ton of sense that they might draft a tight end to secure themselves for the long term. There are a few moving parts, but I think tight end could wind up being one of their 2-3 biggest priorities.

Rob: Rank them however you want, but tight end, wide receiver, defensive end and linebacker are four positions where the depth potentially could be nowhere near what it was in 2021. Now, the Cowboys surely won't lose every free agent at those positions, but no doubt there are unanswered questions at tight end. Jarwin and Sean McKeon are the only guys under contract right now. (Jeremy Sprinkle is also set to be a free agent.) The club obviously would like to bring back Schultz after another nice season, and a multi-year deal could be more cap-friendly than the $11 million franchise tag. We'll see.

In the list of top free agents the Cowboys need to sign or re-sign, where does Bryan Anger fit in? I thought he was outstanding last year for us. – STEVE CRAIG / HENDERSON, NV

David: Anger was phenomenal, but I'd still probably put him below guys like Randy Gregory, Dalton Schultz and Jayron Kearse, simply because he's a special teamer. But he was an incredibly valuable piece of this team. He also loves playing for John Fassel. For those reasons, I'd like to think he can be brought back at a reasonable price.

Rob: I'd put Anger among the top Cowboys free agents for obvious reasons (Pro Bowler, second-team All-Pro) -- right there with Randy Gregory, Dalton Schultz and Jayron Kearse. The Cowboys won some grind-it-out games the second half of the season when the offense wasn't clicking at the same level, and a big part of their success was Anger flipping field position.

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