The Dallas Cowboys have been a dominant force in the NFL since their inception. However, they floundered last season and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Along with some personnel changes and tweaks to their game plan, working out a long-term deal with wide receiver Dalton Schultz could be one of many things that puts them back on top again.
The “dalton schultz” is a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys who has been performing well this season. He is one of the top receivers in the NFL, and he deserves a long-term deal with the team.
The Dallas Cowboys have franchise-tagged tight end Dalton Schultz, which means he’ll be a member of the club in 2022 unless something drastic happens.
That’s the good news, but the Cowboys should be getting even better news soon. It’s still feasible to strike a long-term agreement, and it makes sense for both Schultz and Dallas.
It’s a rare win-win situation in contract discussions, and Dallas should pursue it vigorously.
For the Dallas Cowboys, Dalton Schultz has improved year after year.
While facing the Philadelphia Eagles, Dalton Schultz #86 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates his second-half score with CeeDee Lamb #88 | Tom Pennington/Getty Images
What is it about Schultz that you don’t like?
At 6-foot-6 and 244 pounds, he’s a large tight end, but he’s also grown into a fluid route runner with soft hands. Schultz had 63 receptions for 615 yards and four touchdowns in 2020, then 78 receptions for 808 yards and eight touchdowns the following year.
He’s certainly won Dak Prescott’s confidence, which is 90 percent of the job description for pass-catching tight ends. Schultz’s size and ability to get open quickly have proved particularly beneficial in the red zone, where he’s become one of Prescott’s go-to targets in critical situations.
Last season, Schultz was Dallas’ third-leading receiver, with only one less reception than CeeDee Lamb, who led the club with 78. With 104 targets, Schultz is tied for second on the squad with Amari Cooper.
The Cowboys can’t afford to let Schultz get away for long.
Dalton Schultz is one of Dak Prescott’s most trusted receivers, as seen by this example from last year.
Schultz’s route is designed to go left, but he sees the play break down and Dak scrambling to his right, so he immediately switches back to his right pic.twitter.com/8Z3GCno4vG
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) March 8, 2022
Dallas has had a difficult offseason. Not only are the Cowboys grieving after their Super Bowl LII defeat to the San Francisco 49ers, but head coach Mike McCarthy has also come under pressure, and his long-term future is in doubt. To top it off, the Cowboys are dealing with a salary limit crunch and have already had to move Cooper to help ease some of the pressure.
Dallas is still $18.4 million above the limit after franchise tagging Schultz and moving Cooper, with 25 more free agents to ponder.
In the near term, tagging Schultz was a wise move for Dallas since it gives the Cowboys some confidence. Because the franchise tag is non-exclusive, other teams may still negotiate with the huge tight end, but if they do, Dallas can either match the offer or earn two first-round selections as compensation. Any other team entering the competition with that in mind seems improbable.
The Cowboys may consider it a job well done and sign Schultz to the franchise tag in 2022, deferring long-term talks until the following year. However, there may be a better method.
The Cowboys should take advantage of the franchise tag period to reach a long-term agreement with Schultz by July 15th in order to retain him in Dallas for the foreseeable future.
Schultz is an important long-term player to have.
Dalton Schultz #86 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The value of a dependable tight end in today’s NFL cannot be overstated.
Because the NFL is clearly betting on the passing game, quarterback is the most important position on the field. Prescott, the $40 million guy, is the Cowboys’ quarterback.
It’s equally as crucial to have excellent wide receivers as it is to have a competent quarterback, but a good tight end may be the x-factor that elevates an offense to the next level. Wide receivers are, frankly, a dime a dozen in 2022. In fact, there are five to seven players in this year’s draft class who seem to be future stars.
Star tight ends, on the other hand, are far more difficult to come by, which is why the teams that do have them are able to turn the tables.
Take a look at what George Kittle has meant to the San Francisco 49ers, and there’s no denying that Travis Kelce is a big part of Patrick Mahomes’ success with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Schultz isn’t quite there yet, and he may never be, but he’s shown over the last two seasons that he has the ability to play in the high tier of the position. The fact that he has his quarterback’s confidence and that he and Prescott are obviously on the same page is more important than anything else.
The Cowboys’ decision to sign Schultz to a long-term contract makes a lot of sense, but it’s not just about football.
In 2022, he’ll cost $10.9 million as a franchise tag player, and that cap space can’t be moved. However, if he signs a multi-year contract, the Cowboys may stretch his cap hit out throughout the duration of the deal. This provides Dallas a lot more leeway to work with throughout the offseason.
It’s a win-win situation for all sides, so why not take advantage of it if you’re the Cowboys?
Schultz may never be Jason Witten, but he seems to be the next best thing, and upper-echelon tight ends don’t come around every day.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provides contract information.
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