The Dallas Cowboys just got a major deal done, albeit not one most have been eyeballing -- i.e., . The team was expected to issue a tender as high as a second-rounder on tight end Blake Jarwin, but with the goal of securing a long-term deal as soon as possible, sources told CBS Sports. They were able to come to terms before the tender offer was ever presented though, with both sides agreeing on a four-year deal worth up to $24.25 million that also includes $9.25 million in guarantees -- separate sources now confirm.
That keeps Jarwin in tow through the 2023 season and unequivocally makes him -- a three-year backup forced behind future Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten in 2017 and 2019 -- the starter at the position going forward.
Sources told CBS Sports the Cowboys lack of an attractive offer being made to Jason Witten was directly tied to their desire to retain Jarwin and possibly make him the No. 1 tight end in Dallas, while also adding a complementary piece in either free agency or the 2020 NFL Draft, and the club met with Jarwin's representatives at the NFL combine with the hopes of getting something done to keep him in Dallas for the future.
Considering Jarwin was initially an undrafted free agent, demanding a team compensate the Cowboys with a second-round pick to woo him away showed exactly how much belief they have in him. For his part, Jarwin has just as much belief in himself -- if not more -- as I ascertained from a recent conversation with the 25-year-old.
"Absolutely," Jarwin told CBS Sports following the conclusion of the season, when I asked him if he was ready to potentially get the nod as the No. 1 in the Cowboys tight end unit in 2020. "I'm fully confident in myself to be a full-time playmaker in this league. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape right now and I can make a lot of big plays, but I think I can be even better. It's my job to get back to work, hit it hard and watch a lot of film.
"I think that's where it starts. You have to see what you're not doing very well. I think that's important. ...It pays off in the long run."
-- one that doesn't include him being a starter for the Cowboys -- the team itself is finally executing its past-due plan of looking through the windshield as opposed to staring in the rearview mirror, as Jarwin readies himself to stay put in Dallas in 2020 and far beyond.