Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant believes the team could be an ideal landing spot for a notable NFC playmaker.
In a tweet on Wednesday, September 13, Bryant posted a picture of Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts from Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers, standing wide open. In the tweet, Bryant urges the Cowboys to make a trade for the former No. 4 overall pick.
Get @kylepitts__ to Dallas please!!!
This is unacceptable!!!
He deserves better ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/0AS2ON7Xcy
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) September 13, 2023
Kyle Pitts Would Represent Upgrade at Tight End for Cowboys
Although the Falcons won their season opener over the Panthers, it’s worth noting that Pitts played a minimal role in the game, catching just two catches for 44 receiving yards. He actually was technically Atlanta’s leading receiver, considering their quarterback, Desmond Ridder, threw just 18 passes for a total of 115 passing yards.
The Cowboys are currently going through a revamp of the tight end position following the departure of former starter Dalton Schultz. While Schultz was clearly Dak Prescott’s favorite security blanket and No. 2 receiver behind CeeDee Lamb — he averaged 89 targets during the previous three seasons — Dallas has moved in a different direction with second-year Jake Ferguson as the current starter.
Ferguson was targeted in the Week 1 win against the New York Giants, producing a game-high seven targets. However, he caught just two of those passes for 11 yards with two additional drops.
While it is early on, the Cowboys could clearly upgrade by adding Pitts to start over their current group of tight ends in Ferguson, Peyton Hendershot and Luke Schoonmaker.
Kyle Pitts Stuck in Run-Heavy Offense With Falcons
Despite entering the 2021 NFL Draft as one of the most highly touted tight ends in recent memory — he is the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history — Pitts has delivered underwhelming production through his first two seasons in the league.
During his rookie season in 2021, Pitts did deliver a 1,000-yard campaign (15.1 yards per reception), actually being named a Pro Bowler in the process. However, he only caught one touchdown pass. During an injury-plagued campaign in 2022 which saw him limited to just 10 games due to a torn MCL, his stats dropped off of a cliff as he posted just 28 receptions for 356 receiving yards (12.7 yards per reception).
Part of that statistical dip was due to the Falcons’ changing quarterbacks during those seasons, going from former NFL MVP Matt Ryan to the more run-oriented Marcus Mariota. While that explains the dip in many statistical categories, including Pitts going from 60.4 receiving yards per game to 35.6 receiving yards per game, it doesn’t entirely explain how Pitts went from a solid 61.8% catch rate in 2021 to a 47.5% catch rate in 2022.
Despite Pitts’ regression last season compared to his rookie season, the advanced analytics still paint Pitts as one of the better tight ends in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Pitts posted an 80.3 offensive grade and 82.3 receiving yards during his rookie season, the fifth-highest offensive grade and sixth-highest receiving grade among starting tight ends that season.
During the 2022 season, Pitts was still one of the better tight ends, posting a 72.7 offensive grade and 76.6 receiving grade, ranking ninth in offensive grade and eighth in receiving grade among all starting tight ends.
In other words, he’s still clearly one of the top tight ends in the league with the potential of emerging as an elite tight end in the next several seasons.
With that being said, although Atlanta clearly is geared towards a run-heavy offense, it’s hard to envision them trading their best receiving option when Drake London is the only other proven receiving target in their offense.
Furthermore, with the Cowboys featuring three young tight ends, including 2023 second-round rookie Schoonmaker, it’s more likely they roll the dice with their current group of tight ends.
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