3 significant questions for the Cowboys at tight end

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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1. Who will win the starting job, Jake Ferguson or Luke Schoonmaker?

The battle for the top spot will likely come down to last year's rookie and now second-year man Jake Ferguson and newly drafted second-round pick out of Michigan, Luke Schoonmaker. 

Today in Dallas, competition for a starting tight end is rare. It may be the biggest position battle that tight ends coach Lunda Wells, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, and head coach Mike McCarthy will have to determine who can fill in the shoes of Dalton Schultz, with whom quarterback Dak Prescott had a good connection. 

Ferguson, in his rookie season, was the backup to Schultz. He played in 16 games and had eight starts as a rookie. He finished the season with 19 receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns. 

Earlier this year, during the Chiefs Super Bowl press conference, Ferguson caught the attention of one of the best tight ends ever, Travis Kelce. 

“There are a few great tight ends out there,” Kelce said. “I don’t know if there are any that remind me of myself, but there are a few guys I’m excited about. Kyle Pitts of the Atlanta Falcons being one of them. Jake Ferguson down in Dallas, and Daniel Bellinger over in New York. I’m excited to see how these guys manifest over the next few years, and we’ll see where they can take their game.”

The second-year player was invited and attended the Tight End University Summit in June, run by multiple great ends, including Kelce. Overall, Ferguson is in a great position to step up and become Prescott's security blanket.  

After the departure of the previous starter Dalton Schultz who is now in Houston, the Cowboys knew they had to invest in a replacement option. That investment was made in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft in Michigan’s Luke Schoonmaker. 

Schoonmaker brings multiple traits that should make him a nice addition to Dallas. His athleticism and ability to run block will benefit an offense emphasising running the ball more this season. 

While his production lacked in the passing game, 54 receptions, 637 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns, stats don’t tell the full picture film study does, and it’s clear that Will McClay and company were impressed with the tape. 

While Ferguson might be the favorite to start, given the one year of experience in the system, this will likely become a season-long battle to determine who could be the potential starter in the long run. 

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