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Dallas Clark is an explosive tight end when paired with a competent quarterback.
But after suffering another significant injury this season and seeing backup Jacob Tamme put together a solid performance in his absence once again, there’s just no way Clark still belongs among the ranks of the NFL’s elite tight ends.
It’s a fine distinction, but it is one worth making considering this is a two-time All-Pro former Super Bowl Champion we’re talking about here.
Again, it’s not to say Clark hasn’t had a tremendous career or put together some remarkable performances, it’s simply that his play has been elevated with the help of a brilliant quarterback and we now know for certain he would not have experienced the same success if he hadn’t been playing on an equally talented offense all these years.
Tamme had six catches for 75 yards today, 35 percent of the team’s total offensive production, and he did it with Painter and Dan Orlovsky throwing him the ball.
Clark, on the other hand, has been playing with the same anemic offense all year long (even at times when it appeared much more stable than it did this afternoon), but he’s only surpassed Tamme’s performance from today on one occasion: in Week 9, Clark also caught six passes for a total of 77 yards.
Besides that game, Clark has had six catches just once and had more than 40 receiving yards just twice.
Last season, with Clark out half the year, Tamme also filled in just fine, and to some extent even outplayed the ninth-year starter (Clark was averaging 6.2 catches and 59 yards per game before he went on injured reserve, while Tamme averaged 6.7 catches and 63 yards per game in his place).
Dallas Clark is a great addition to any team.
As far as tight ends go, however, we now know he is not among the game’s best.