Evaluating the Cowboys tight end room after 2023 NFL Draft

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages
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Iron Mike Ditka, Jay Novacek, and Jason Witten. These men held their own for many years, playing tight end for the Dallas Cowboys and setting the standard for the position; a position that had been locked down for many years and is full of rich history for the organization 

Now in 2023, the Cowboys will have to figure out who their next starting tight end will be and sort out which players will make up the 53-man roster for the unit. So let’s evaluate where the position stands today and who could be the starter on opening day. 

The Cowboys had a reliable Dalton Schultz playing on the franchise tag a season ago. Behind Schultz were young rookies Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot, while Sean McKeon, Ian Bunting, and Seth Green were all practice squad during different times of the season. 

A year later, Schultz, the Week 1 starter each of the last two seasons, is now with the Texans on a one-year deal. This means there will be a new face at the helm when the Cowboys open up their season against the rival New York Giants. 

Cowboys unofficial tight end depth chart

  • Jake Ferguson
  • Luke Schoonmaker
  • Peyton Hendershot
  • Sean McKeon 
  • Seth Green 
  • Princeton Fant

Jake Ferguson 

The Cowboys drafted Ferguson out of Wisconsin in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He spent his entire rookie season as the backup to Schultz but managed to see significant playing time and finished the season with 19 receptions for 174 yards and a pair of receiving touchdowns. 

The highlight of his rookie season was a catch, run, and hurdle on Thanksgiving against the Giants. While the competition will be there for a starting spot, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ferguson opens up as the starter in week one, knowing he has a year in the current system and eight starts from 2022 under his belt.

Luke Schoonmaker 

Another year another rookie tight end is suiting up for the Cowboys. Luke Schoonmaker, who was picked in the second round by Dallas in this past draft, brought some very likeable traits to the offense. 

The former Wolverine brings athleticism and impactful run blocking. However, a second round pick will make the roster and hopefully be an impactful addition. Will Schoonmaker perform well enough to start eventually as a rookie? How big will his impact in the passing game be?