Free agency is underway, and the Dallas Cowboys have been surprisingly active in the first wave. Between re-signing Donovan Wilson and Leighton Vander Esch, and pulling off an earth-shattering trade for Stephon Gilmore, this is uncharted territory for Dallas this early into the sweepstakes.
There’s been no mention of Dalton Schultz, however, who’s arguably the top tight end on the market after the Jaguars franchise tagged Evan Engram. There were rumblings that the Cowboys made Schultz a significant offer before free agency, but NFL Network’s Jane Slater rebuffed that with her own scoop on Monday.
Essentially, Dallas hasn’t made an offer to Schultz this offseason. They reportedly tried to sign him long-term last year, but all signs point to the former fourth-round pick finding a new home at some point in free agency.
After all the cap maneuvering teams have done around the NFL, the Chargers feel like an obvious destination for Schultz.
Will Cowboys free agent Dalton Schulz reunite with Kellen Moore on the Chargers?
At the time Kellen Moore joined the Chargers Schultz following the offensive coordinator wasn’t feasible. Los Angeles was more than $20 million over the cap and tight end was pretty far down the pecking order in terms of positions that need upgrading. Why would they pay Schultz, whom PFF projects to get $14.5 million annually and $36 million guaranteed, close to top-of-the-market money?
Now, though, the Bolts have the means to sign Schultz.
Last week, they restructured the contracts of pass rushers Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, and wideouts Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. The moves saved $40 million against the cap, giving LA some $19 million to play with in free agency. They could add more money by trading Austin Ekeler and cutting expendable players.
Schultz’s ties to Kellen Moore go without saying, and both Chargers general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Brandon Staley are seemingly performing for their jobs in 2023, and should therefore be all-in.
While the Bolts could draft Texas prodigy Bijan Robinson in the first round (if they trade Ekeler), Schultz is far and away the biggest and most realistic offensive addition Telesco and Staley can make this offseason.
The Chargers offense experienced a ton of inconsistency last season despite boasting serious firepower. While Moore’s arrival could change that in a heartbeat, adding Schultz to the equation would give them arguably the most talented array of pass-catchers in the league.
Anything is possible, but this is something for Cowboys fans to keep in the back of their mind now that Los Angeles is finally under the cap and operating with a sense of desperation.
Schultz and Ezekiel Elliott reunite in LA, who says no?