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What's Up at TE? Top-to-bottom competition 


FRISCO, Texas — From start to finish last season, the tight end position at least got one question answer – who's the No. 1 guy? That became evident towards the end of the year as Jake Ferguson took over as the top guy and even earned a Pro Bowl selection in just his second year. Heading into this season, there's no question where the position starts as Ferguson is the starter and looking to put his stamp on being one of the NFL's elite players as well. After that should be interesting with several players vying for playing time. Tight ends coach Lunda Wells said this offseason he's got "a good problem to have" regarding the talent vs. the amount of tight ends he can keep.

Let's take a closer look at "What's Up" with the tight ends.

What We Know: There's going to be some depth at the back of the position. There's just too much size and potential among the players such as Luke Schoonmaker, Peyton Hendershot, John Stephens and Brevyn Spann-Ford for this not to be an interesting training camp, especially if they all stay healthy. We know that tons of competition will allow some of them to rise to the occasion. But even if they don't all make it, there could be some trade value forming here at this position that other teams could covet.

What We Don't: We know there will be competition. We don't really know who is going to step up. Sure, Luke Schoonmaker will every chance to be the No. 2 tight end because he was a second-round pick last year and the Cowboys obviously believe he's got the skills to even be a starter one day, based off of his draft stock. But with Jake Ferguson emerging as the clear-cut starter right now, Schoonmaker will get the chance to be the backup and play a lot in the 12 personnel (1-back, 2 tight end) sets. But we don't know just how much Hendershot, Stephens, Spann-Ford and the rest of the pack will push them to get playing time as well.

What to Watch For: Ideally, Ferguson will be the starter and Schoonmaker will be the backup. But watch out for No. 3 because it appears as if it will be a three-man race between a 2022 undrafted free agent, a 2023 undrafted free agent and a 2024 undrafted free agent. Hendershot has the experience having played here for the last two seasons. Then there's Stephens, who had a nice camp building last year before a torn ACL injury ended his season before it got started. And now there's Spann-Ford, a rookie from Minnesota the Cowboys were shocked was still available after the draft. All three of them have some height to them – standing over 6-4 – and it will be a tall order for them to win this spot, given the competition in front of them.

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