When the Dallas Cowboys franchise tagged Dalton Schultz in the offseason, many fans in Cowboys Nation voiced their displeasure. While Schultz statistically ranked in the NFL’s upper tier the season prior, many viewed him as a product of the system and therefore a replaceable part.
It’s possible the Cowboys felt similarly since a long-term agreement couldn’t be made and, according to Schultz’s camp, realistic offers were never given to the 26-year-old Stanford product
The Dallas Cowboys two young tight ends, Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot, aren’t surpassing Dalton Schultz any time soon.
Given the climate of the tight end position on the Dallas Cowboys roster last March, the Dallas Cowboys didn’t have many options available to them. With Blake Jarwin seriously injured and subsequently cut, Dallas would have been down their top-two tight ends had they let Schultz escape.
Given the importance of the position in the Kellen Moore offense, they had no choice but to tag Schultz – even if they thought he was a somewhat replicable part. Lesser tight ends were getting paid much more so relative to the market, Schultz was actually well worth his tag amount.
The Cowboys, knowing they had to prepare for the future, attacked the TE in the 2022 NFL Draft. They added Jake Ferguson on Day 3 and picked up undrafted free agent Peyton Hendershot immediately after. Needless to say, both players have far exceeded expectations as rookies this season and both figure to have bright futures on the Dallas Cowboys going forward.
Together with 25-year-old TE, Sean McKeon, the two rookie tight ends have carved out significant roles on the Dallas Cowboys offense. Their presence has taken a chunk out of Dalton Schultz’s production and even with his big two-touchdown performance on Thursday, he’s expected to fall well short of nearly all of his 2021 numbers.
Despite that, Dalton Schultz is still fully entrenched as the TE1 on the Dallas Cowboys and top Cowboys brass are likely very pleased they locked him for 2022.
This was made glaringly apparent when one of Dallas’ promising tight ends, Hendershot, flipped a Dak Prescott pass up in the air for a momentum shifting interception. The botched play cost the Dallas Cowboys 3.5 expected points on a play that should have put Dallas well within scoring position.
Dalton Schultz, on the other hand, showed the Cowboys what a season veteran can do. With the Cowboys only up by four, Schultz pulled in a perfect, but difficult, ball that took all 6-foot-5 of him to snag. The catch showed how much Prescott trusted his five year veteran and Cowboys Nation why proven veterans are valuable down the stretch.
The Dallas Cowboys are in good hands at the TE position in the future, but that future is not quite now. The era of Ferguson and Hendershot will be here soon enough, for now it’s good to have a vet like Schultz leading the unit
In 2023, Schultz can go get paid but for now, he’s a Cowboy and the Cowboys are lucky to have him.