Sure, the Dallas Cowboys were intrigued by top tight end prospect Kyle Pitts but, as CBS Sports reported ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, they had zero plans to trade up for him. That was largely due to not only the capital required to make a move from No. 10 to likely No. 4, but also their belief in what they have currently at tight end. It's a corps headlined by Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz, but it was the latter who took center stage in 2020 after the former (who was poised to have a breakout season) suffered a torn ACL in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.
But like other starters on the offensive side of the ball -- namely quarterback Dak Prescott and offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La'El Collins -- Jarwin has worked his way back from injury and, having already begun some work at OTAs, is on track to take the field with no limitations when training camp gets underway in July.
"I'm coming along," he told media just ahead of the calendar flipping to June. "[I'm] getting close. There's really no reason to rush into it. Just make sure that I'm feeling good, and I feel good.
"I'll just keep pushing along and I anticipate Day 1 of training camp -- I'll be ready to roll."
Jarwin has proven himself a playmaker when given the chance and as one of Prescott's favorite targets, seeing him return could make the Cowboys offense that much more prolific. That said, in his absence, Schultz took a gargantuan leap forward and finally established himself as a viable starter in the league as well. He took full advantage of his 14 starts, delivering career-highs in receiving yards (618) and touchdowns (4) despite a carousel of mostly dismal quarterback play following the loss of Prescott to a season-ending injury in Week 5.
This means the Cowboys now legitimately have two starting tight ends, but if you're thinking there's some side-eyeing from one to the other, you couldn't be more wrong. Jarwin and Schultz have been nothing but supportive of each other in their time together in Dallas, and that support spills over into 2021, as Jarwin works to return to the fold.
"I'm so excited for Blake," Schultz said from Cowboys OTAs. "I love like working alongside a guy that I can really trust. Obviously we got a few years of work together. He is one of the hardest working guys in the locker room, and we kind of pride ourselves on that in our room of being the grinders that will go in day in and day out and do our part. And I'm so excited to see him back on the field.
"ACLs are brutal, especially to go down like that in Game 1. You put so much hard work and time in. He's still got a ways to go. But, dude, I can't wait to see him finally go out and prove to everybody he's as great of a tight end he thinks he is.
"I'm excited to have that two-headed monster in the room, and hopefully we can take advantage of defenses this year."
For Jarwin and Schultz, it's never about tearing the other down to become "they guy" atop the depth chart.
"That's kind of who he is and who I am," said Schultz. "Considering the circumstance, we have a great friendship and that's only going to continue to evolve. When he got his third touchdown in that Giants game [on Dec. 30, 2018], I was the first one on the sideline hyping him up, and I was like, 'Now, go get another one.' He scored the second one and then I was like, 'One more. Hat trick.'
"Boom, he gets the third. We're boosting each other up whether it's competing on the Peloton bike in the offseason or scoring three touchdowns against the Giants. Our relationship hasn't changed at all."
So, with two starters in the room, does this mean the Cowboys will run more 12 personnel (two TE sets)?
"We might put those in," Schultz said with a wry smile. "[Might] say something in passing as Kellen [Moore] is walking by."
Fact is, it'll happen on occasion, but also having Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard on the roster means it won't be a regular occurrence. Ultimately it's a great problem to have if you're the coaching staff in Dallas, the amount of talent on offense arguably being the best in the league. And if Schultz has anything to say about it, his 2020 season will pale in comparison to what he'll potentially be able to do in 2021, considering he's signed up to attend the famed "Tight End University" -- led by All-Pro tight end George Kittle.
"I love it," said Schultz. "I talked to George [Kittle] last week. I'm going to that as well. I think that's going to be a great opportunity to just get some general knowledge and some feel on certain techniques that different tight ends throughout the league use.
"Obviously, there's going to be a lot of talent there and I'm excited to just learn and give back and take as much information and knowledge as I can from that and learn to apply that in my day-to-day. So, yeah. I'm excited. It's going to be fun."
With Jarwin having already received a contract extension, Schultz is putting in the work this offseason to make sure his coming contract year ends with the same result, but that's not his direct motivation. Instead, it's all about putting in the work and then letting the rest unfold as it will.
"I mean, whether it's contract year or not, I got to prove regardless," he said. "I don't treat this as, 'Okay, this is the one year I got to go ball.' I've got to treat it like I treated last year. I've got to get better day to day.
"I've got to do the same things. We have this saying that I learned in college. It's called the law of the price tag. You got to make a deposit on the day to day, and the price never decreases."
What might decrease, however, are the odds of opposing defenses stopping both him and Jarwin in 2021.