Dallas Cowboys Stud: Luke Schoonmaker, Tight End
It hasn't been the greatest rookie season for tight end Luke Schoonmaker. The second-round pick from Michigan had just 14 yards on three receptions this season — although one went for a touchdown. He nearly had a second score in the loss to Philadelphia when he hauled in a short pass on fourth down, but was called down short of the goal line.
In addition to coming up short on that play, which wasn't all on him, Schoonmaker has been hit with some untimely penalties. What he needed was a big play to get him rolling, and he came up with one in the first quarter against Carolina. Dallas, after a three-and-out to start the game, moved the ball well on their second drive.
This time, they went 83 yards on 10 plays and capped it off with a perfect 18-yard pass from Dak Prescott to Schoonmaker. That gave Dallas a 7-0 lead, but might have done even more for the rookie. He not only scored his second touchdown of the season, but also more than doubled his total yardage on that one play.
Schoonmaker didn't see the ball come his way much after this one, but he did get one target in garbage time. Cooper Rush came in for Dak Prescott, with the game well in hand, and completed two passes. One of those went to Schoonmaker for five yards, giving him two receptions for 23 yards and the touchdown.
Dallas has more than enough weapons in the passing game, but they need role players to step up when their stars are shut down. That was the case here, as Jake Ferguson had a mild game with just three receptions — and no player went over 42 yards through the air. That's when players like Schoonmaker need to step up and he did exactly that.