Blake Jarwin thankful to Jason Witten, grateful for opportunity

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The Cowboys could have had Jason Witten back. They chose to move on, which says more about Blake Jarwin than it does Witten.

The Cowboys committed to Jarwin with a four-year, $22 million deal that includes $9.25 million. Instead of being Witten’s backup, Jarwin is the tight end replacing Witten.

“As a rookie, I’m pretty reserved as it is, and I’d just kind of stay away and watch how he worked,” Jarwin, an undrafted free agent in 2017, told Todd Archer of ESPN. “He came in every single day like he was still trying to make it. When it was his turn, he’s going 100 percent. But he always felt like he had something to prove.”

While Witten played 75 percent of the offensive snaps in his unretirement last season, Jarwin saw action on 38.6 percent of the plays in making seven starts. Jarwin made 31 catches for 365 yards and three touchdowns and has 58 receptions for 672 yards and six touchdowns in his three seasons.

Jarwin, though, doesn’t consider Witten a progress-stopper last season. On the contrary, he credits Witten with helping him become an NFL starter.

“I’ve always been thankful for what he’s done for me,” Jarwin said. “He never had to stop and tell me and Dalton [Schultz] about things he sees, and he did anyway. I don’t care about what people thought. We never thought like that in our tight-end room. We had a pretty close relationship. It’s going to be a little different seeing [Witten] in a Raiders jersey.”