Dallas Cowboys: Is Kyle Rudolph the answer at tight end?

Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images /

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t address the tight end position in the 2019 NFL Draft. Could they now try and trade for Kyle Rudolph of the Minnesota Vikings?

Heading into the offseason, the Dallas Cowboys made it clear that safety, defensive tackle, and tight end were needs they had to address. All three have been addressed so far, but maybe not all have been taken care of as well as they should have been — especially when it comes to tight end.

At safety, the Cowboys added former Minnesota Vikings safety George Iloka, who appears set to start at strong safety. As for defensive tackle, Trysten Hill was their second-round pick out of UCF and has a shot to start in his first season. As for tight end, there’s where the team dropped the ball.

Dallas lured former All-Pro tight end Jason Witten out of retirement, which gives them experience but doesn’t promise to solve their problems. Instead, Witten is a band-aid replacement who was declining in 2017 and could be worse after a year away.

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Not only that, but the 37-year old will be a progress stopper for Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin who had started to show signs of improving late last season.

However, the team still has options to improve the position — assuming they’re serious about upgrading. Recently, there have been rumors that the Vikings may be willing to move veteran Kyle Rudolph.

"“Sources told ESPN the Vikings fielded interest ahead of/during the draft about a possible trade involving Rudolph. A move would have freed up the cap space the team needs not only to sign its new crop of draftees but allow some wiggle room with available spending money for the rest of the offseason.” —Courtney Cronin, ESPN"

If the team really did field calls before the draft, as Cronin says, those calls likely only intensified once they landed Irv Smith Jr. out of Alabama. The 50th overall pick, Smith isn’t coming to Minnesota to sit and watch — he’s coming to play.

Minnesota is also raving about his fit with their new offensive scheme, which could spell bad news for Rudolph. A former second-round pick himself, Rudolph has 386 career receptions with 3,787 yards and 41 touchdowns. He’s a two-time Pro Bowl player who seems to have even more potential as a receiver than what he has shown in Minnesota.

Dallas may have to move some money around to make a deal work as Rudolph counts $7.625 million against the salary cap this season, but they have been able to work magic in this area before — and could lock him up for a few seasons and spread his cap hit out.

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The Cowboys have tried time and again to find an heir to Witten in the draft and they’ve been unsuccessful. Due to that, they decided to bring him back but maybe looking for another veteran such as Rudolph would be a more prudent way to address the position.