3. Dalton Schultz, TE
For the record, there’s no reason this should happen but with this front office thinking James Washington could replace Amari Cooper, anything is possible.
Dalton Schultz, a former fourth-round pick in 2018, broke out in 2020 when he finally got his shot. When Blake Jarwin tore his ACL in Week 1, Schultz ended up becoming the No. 1 tight end and had 63 receptions for 615 yards and four touchdowns.
He proved that was no fluke when he put up 808 yards on 78 receptions with eight more touchdowns in 2021. That was a huge performance before hitting free agency but he and the Cowboys were unable to come to terms on a new contract.
Schultz wound up getting hit with the franchise tag and while they had until July to figure out a new deal, nothing ever came to fruition. Dallas then made sure to give themselves options as they drafted Jake Ferguson and signed Peyton Hendershot as an undrafted free agent.
Neither had the impact that Schultz did but they were both able to make plays when called upon. As for Schultz, he had a dip in production with 57 receptions for 577 yards and five touchdowns. He did struggle with a knee injury that forced him to miss two games, as well as parts of two others. Once he was fully healthy, he looked like himself again. He even showed against Tampa Bay and San Francisco just how much Dak Prescott relies on him as he was arguably the biggest reason they won outside of Prescott.
The problem is, Dallas isn’t going to be able to pay everyone they would like to. Schultz proved he deserves a contract in the same league as players such as David Njoku but that might not happen with the Cowboys who already balked once at paying Schultz. Instead, they might believe it’s better to let Ferguson and Hendershot take a larger role going forward.
It would be a risk (and probably a bad call) but they seemed to prepare themselves for this even before the 2022 season began.