The Cowboys apparently have given up on Geoff Swaim returning this season.
The team is expected to place its starting tight end on injured reserve Saturday, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Running back Darius Jackson will get the call-up from the practice squad.
Swaim, who became the starting tight end when Jason Witten retired, broke his wrist in a Week 11 win over the Falcons. He finished 2016 on injured reserve, too, after surgery to repair a right torn pectoral muscle.
He made 26 catches for 242 yards and a touchdown in nine games, surpassing his career totals in his first three seasons. He missed one game with a sprained knee.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Friday on his weekly radio show that Witten’s retirement took the team by surprise. They drafted Schultz in the fourth round.
Swaim was a seventh-round pick in 2015, Gathers a sixth-round pick in 2016 and Jarwin an undrafted free agent in 2017.
“Certainly we all know there’s not high draft picks invested in any of those guys,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “They’re guys who really played well and really worked hard to continue to get better, but at the same time we’re talking about a Hall of Famer in Jason Witten that you’re trying to replace, and we didn’t really understand that he was going to be not available until pretty much, I think was the first day of the draft. So just like Amari [Cooper], it took time to find the right guy there. I think in due time, whether it happens to be one of these young guys stepping up or we continue to look to build through the draft with another tight end, that’s a work in progress.”
The Cowboys drafted Jackson in the sixth round in 2016. He is in his third stint with the team and also has spent time with the Browns and Packers.