Four years, $60 million.
That’s the market value of Schultz heading into the offseason and is a price that the Cowboys simply can’t afford. Even if he wants four years for $55 million to stay in Dallas, it’s still way too much for the team to pay.
With the Cowboys currently over the cap space by about $7 million (according to Over The Cap), they need to make changes to their roster. And at almost $14-15 million a season, the asking price is too much for a tight end that is coming off a 577-yard season.
Yes, Prescott and Schultz have that unmatched connection. But who says that Jake Ferguson can’t be that guy in the future?
Ferguson was drafted in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft and showed some promise in his first season. In Week 6 when Schultz was out with an injury, the rookie posted a career-high four catches for 40 yards and one touchdown with Cooper Rush under center.
That game was really the first glimpse of what Ferguson could do without Schultz in Dallas. The rookie tight end had 19 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns on the year.
Whether the Cowboys believe Ferguson is ready to be that guy or not, they can always pick up a tight end in free agency.
Robert Tonyan, who Mike McCarthy coached in Green Bay, is a free agent. His market value is just $5 million, according to Spotrac. Even a veteran like Hayden Hurst would be a solid addition to the Cowboys. His market value is just $6.8 million, via Spotrac.
There are enough players out there to replace the five-year tight end, whether the team wants a veteran for the time being or lets Ferguson be that guy. Schultz is a solid player but for his likely asking price, it is better to let him walk.
There are bigger needs out there for the Cowboys to spend their money on right now than a tight end. They could use a player like defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne or linebacker Bobby Wagner and if they re-sign Schultz, neither of those players would be a free-agent possibility.