It’s always exciting to see for Oklahoma State football players excelling at the next level. Mason Rudolph and James Washington are getting ample playing time in Pittsburgh and getting better with each passing day. Chris Carson and Tre Flowers are a dominant duo in Seattle and are quickly becoming some of the best players in the league at their position. Dan Bailey has seen a resurgence in his career while at Minnesota.
Dallas tight end, and former Oklahoma State cowboy back Blake Jarwin is no different and is set to take over as the No. 1 tight end for ‘America’s team’ with Jason Witten in Vegas on a one-year contract with the Raiders.
Jarwin quickly solidified his place as the best tight end option for Dak Prescott the past seasons as he hauled in 58 receptions for 672 yards and six touchdowns. In doing so, Jarwin earned a three-year contract extension back in March that took his yearly salary of $645,000, to just north of $8 million.
Jarwin recently spoke with dallascowboys.com in a virtual interview to discuss the challenges of becoming the go-to tight end and having to replace a legend in Jason Witten.
"I'm excited for the task," Jarwin told dallascowboys.com in a virtual interview on Monday. "I'm grateful that they believe in me to be the future of the tight end position. It's my job to never be content with that. To just say 'I got a great deal now and I can coast.' That's never been my approach and that won't be approach in the future. Now I have to push myself even harder and prove that I deserve what they gave me."
Even though Jarwin is a rising NFL star, it’s always tough to have to replace someone as talented, and well loved and respected, as Jason Witten.
“I’m excited for the challenge,” Jarwin said. “I learned so much from [Jason Witten] and the other guys that came through before me. I definitely haven’t gotten content with anything; I definitely understand I have a lot to learn and I’ve got to be better on all parts of the field. So, I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
While Witten is no longer with Dallas, Jarwin said that he’s talked to him a few times over the past couple of months, but certainly learned an incredible amount from Witten over the past three years.
“The guy, on the field and off the field, he was a professional,” Jarwin said of Jason Witten. “When we were in the meeting room, he was in-tuned, ready to rock, asking questions, going through other scenarios that maybe we might not have seen during just watching film when we were preparing on Sundays. You look at a guy like that, being a younger guy, I think you can learn a lot from things like that where sometimes you kind of get stuck with just what you’re looking at. He did a good job kind of opening my eyes to looking at the big picture, looking at more than one scenario at a time.”
We’ve seen multiple examples of the ‘Cowboy Culture’ that Oklahoma State instilled in Jarwin ever since he was on campus in Stillwater, but this past season with Dallas was another great example. While he hadn’t blown the doors off the league in 2018, he had a solid finish the season proving that he was the future at tight end for Dallas.
Then, Witten came out of retirement and back into the picture, effectively taking reps away from Jarwin. However, Jarwin saw that as a chance to learn from one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game, rather than get upset and try to find another situation.
"I never once took for granted what he coached me. I'm thankful for what he did," Jarwin said of Witten. "It's going to help me moving forward."
Follow Pokes Report on social media
Facebook: Pokes Report
Twitter: @Oklahoma StateSI