(Editor's Note: With the offseason in full swing, the focus is now shifting to the 2016 season, where the Cowboys have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Not only do the Cowboys face five playoff teams but many of the top players in football. So the writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys. Today, we continue the list with Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed.)
Name: Jordan Reed
2016 vs. Cowboys:
The Cowboys won't have to wait long to renew their rivalry with Washington, as they travel to play the Redskins in Week 2 of the 2016 season. The Dallas-Washington series has taken a bit of a backseat in recent years, largely due to the success of New York and Philadelphia. But the Redskins won the division last season for the second time in the last four years, so there should be plenty of interest in this matchup when the two teams meet on Sept. 18 – and then again for a highly-anticipated Thanksgiving game. The longtime rivals split their two-game series last year, with the Cowboys winning on a last-second kick at Washington, while the Redskins cruised to an 11-point victory in the regular season finale.
What's the Deal:
Reed will be playing with an increased spotlight – and certainly some more pressure – thanks to the five-year extension he signed earlier this offseason. The Redskins secured their young tight end to a five-year contract worth $46.7 million. Most would agree that Reed is one of the NFL's most exciting young tight ends, but that contract is based largely on potential, given that he's caught just 182 passes for 1,916 yards and 14 touchdowns over his three-year career. He has dealt with his share of injuries, missing 13 of 49 career games. If he can remain healthy, he should continue to blossom into one of the NFL's top playmaking tight ends.
The expectations will be high for Reed to deliver on his newfound notoriety, having signed a $46 million contract. Kirk Cousins still has DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon to work with on the outside, but Reed should take on an even larger role in the Washington offense. In 14 games last year, he managed 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Assuming he stays healthy, it's a good bet he surpasses those numbers. It'll be particularly interesting to watch his touchdown total, as his size and athleticism make him a fantastic red zone target.
It will be interesting to see if Reed inserts himself into this heated rivalry now that he's secured to a second contract, because that has yet to truly happen in his five career meetings against the Cowboys. In those fives games, he has totaled 27 catches for 246 yards and no touchdowns – an average of five catches for 49 yards. In 2014, he reeled off nine catches for 70 yards against Dallas – though they came in a 44-17 loss.
Bryan Broaddus Scouting Report:
Big bodied player that is a combination of speed and quickness with receiver-like hands. As a route runner he is able to separate at all levels down the field – and he is an outstanding route runner. Knows how to get open. Finds space right off the snap.
There is some separation to his game but when covered he can make the contested catch. Not afraid to take his route across the field or play in traffic. He will extend his hands to catch the ball. He will make the defender have to go through him to try and defend him.
It might not be his favorite thing, but he can be used as a "H" back and is asked to block inside. Although he is better when he can work along the line and try to tie his man up. He's athletic enough to stay on his feet and take defender which ever direction he'd like to go. He's not going to get a ton of movement at the point of attack – more pass receiver than run blocker.
Reed had four games during the 2015 season where he had multiple touchdowns. If not managed correctly, he has the ability to make those plays that keep the chains moving. A versatile alignment player that coaches can use as a matchup advantage. Have to game plan for him each week due to his ability to line up at so many different spots.
The writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys.