The Dallas Cowboys could be a potential landing spot for a former star tight end, says one analyst.
As suggested by CBS Sports’ Bryan DeArdo and Cody Benjamin, the Cowboys should be considered one of the top five landing spots for free agent tight end Zach Ertz. In fact, they list Dallas as the third top spot for the three-time Pro Bowl tight end, just behind the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens.
“Say it ain’t so! While Ertz would assuredly prefer a move back to his beloved Eagles, Dallas might be able to offer an even cleaner path to pass-catching opportunities. It’d be weird to see him wearing the star, but eyeing a real playoff run, why wouldn’t the Cowboys consider it to give Dak Prescott even more help?”
Zach Ertz Remains Productive Tight End at Age 33
Ertz isn’t quite the dominant tight end he was in his prime — he once posted a record 116 receptions for a tight end along with 1,163 receiving yards and eight touchdowns during the 2018 season — but he could still be a viable asset as a secondary option.
While he only posted 27 receptions for 187 receiving yards and one touchdown in seven games with the Arizona Cardinals prior to his quadriceps injury in October, it’s not too long ago that he posted a productive full-season campaign. He posted 74 receptions for 763 receiving yards and five touchdowns during the 2021 season.
In fact, he posted 40.6 receiving yards per game and a 68.1% catch rate during the 2022 season — very similar marks to his 44.9 receiving yards per game and 66.1% catch rate during the 2021 season.
Why the Cowboys Could Benefit From Signing Zach Ertz
The Cowboys currently feature Jake Ferguson as the starting tight end. While Ferguson got off to a slow start to the season — he caught just 19 of his 31 targets during the first five games of the season, posting under a 63% catch rate in four of those games — he’s come around as the season has progressed. Ferguson now has 51 catches for 570 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
Among all tight ends, Ferguson ranks 10th in receptions and eighth in receiving yards. His five receiving touchdowns are also the second-most among players at his position.
While the Cowboys don’t have a need for a starting tight end, they could use another receiving option at the position. Their other tight ends — rookie Luke Schoonmaker and Peyton Hendershot — are non-factors in the receiving game, posting a combined total of eight receptions for 64 receiving yards.
When one considers that Dallas relies heavily on the usage of two tight ends — Schoonmaker has appeared in 32% of the offensive snaps this season — it would only make sense for Dallas to add another receiving weapon to the mix.
The problem is, there has been no indication that the Cowboys are interested in adding Ertz. The Eagles, Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers have all been reported as potential landing spots for the 33-year-old tight end. However, the idea of the Cowboys adding Ertz is based on pure speculation rather than any reported interest.
Furthermore, the idea of Ertz rejoining his former team in the Eagles or signing with the Ravens for a potential starting tight end job are both likely more alluring than joining the Cowboys as a clear secondary option to Ferguson.
The idea of Ertz signing with the Cowboys over the Eagles would be nice payback for linebacker Shaquille Leonard picking Philadelphia over Dallas. However, it’s not a very likely scenario.