National Football League

Will the Dallas Cowboys take tight end Kyle Pitts in the 2021 NFL Draft?

4 days ago

In Jerry's World, anything is possible.

The Dallas Cowboys own the 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the popular opinion is that the team will select a defensive player to boost the weakest part of its roster from last season.

However, that was also the case in 2020, and something unexpected happened: star wide receiver CeeDee Lamb fell into the Cowboys' lap at No. 17, and Jones & Co. took him off the board.

The latest reports from Jerry's World are that the Cowboys' owner is "infatuated" with another standout offensive weapon: Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts.

Would Dallas take the generational talent Pitts if he's still available when the Cowboys make their selection? 

Granted, it's unlikely Pitts will be there for the 10th pick. FOX Sports Draft Analyst Rob Rang has him being plucked by the Carolina Panthers at No. 8, and FOX Sports Gambling Analyst Jason McIntyre has Pitts off the board even earlier, with the sixth pick by the Miami Dolphins.

What's more, Dallas boasts the strongest receiving corps in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. In addition to second-year standout Lamb, the offense includes receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup and running back Ezekiel Elliott, but as Shannon Sharpe pointed out, all those weapons aren't equating to wins.

"What happened when Dak [Prescott] had Michael Gallup and Amari and Randall Cobb, what did it get them? 8-8. If you are what you say you are, so talented ... They were talented last year, and what did it get them? 6-10. [It] got them picking in the 10th spot."

A season-ending injury to quarterback Prescott didn’t help the team, but there were other serious problems that led to the Cowboys’ 6-10 campaign in 2020.

Dallas' defense was historically bad, allowing the most points in franchise history last season (473). The Cowboys had the second-worst run defense in the NFL, allowing 158.8 yards per game.

With the 2021 NFL draft around the corner, it makes sense that the franchise would continue with their defensive approach to the offseason, as six of the Cowboys' eight free-agent additions have been on the defensive side.

Dallas is still thin at cornerback and linebacker, and the team could look to fix that with the 10th pick.

But if the tight end is available, Jones might not be able to resist Pitts, a headline-generating pick who could validate Prescott's contract extension, according to Colin Cowherd.

"He [Jerry Jones] fears being boring more than being 7-9 or 8-8 ... . Dak's numbers and productivity are going to go up ... If Dallas doesn't win the Super Bowl because they don't draft defense, they're not going to blame Jerry. From Jerry's perspective, I draft Kyle Pitts, we score more points, we get talked about ... I get more free press."

This offseason, the Cowboys signed Prescott to a six-year, $240 million contract extension that averages $42 million per year the first three seasons and includes $126 million guaranteed and a record $66 million signing bonus.

Pitts, regarded as the best non-quarterback prospect in the draft, has size, speed, range and athleticism, all of which make him a very desirable target.

At 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, Pitts is listed as a tight end but is athletic enough to split reps at receiver. In eight games last season, he caught 43 passes for 770 yards, averaging 17.9 per catch. His 12 touchdowns tied for third-most in the nation.

The Cowboys already have two competent tight ends in the locker room. They signed Blake Jarwin to a $24.25 million contract extension in 2020, and Dalton Schultz caught 63 passes for 615 yards and four touchdowns last season after Jarwin suffered a torn ACL in the opener.

But as the saying goes, it's Jerry's world.

We're just living in it.

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