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Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz has turned opportunity into production in 2020

The Cowboys third-year tight end has been one bright spot in a disappointing season.

Dallas Cowboys v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Leading into the 2020 season, Dalton Schultz’s NFL career was at a crossroads. The former Stanford Cardinal was in his third season in the NFL, fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster. Schultz sat behind Blake Jarwin, who just signed a four-year deal to remain in Dallas, and the team added a new tight end, Blake Bell.

Schultz was a guy considered by many to be an afterthought in the Cowboys offense, but that all changed opening night in Los Angeles. Blake Jarwin suffered a torn ACL just two quarters into his 2020 season, immediately propelling Schultz into the lineup. There was plenty of talk about Dallas needing to look outside the organization to fill the void, but 13 games into the season, Schultz has proved everyone wrong.

Coming into 2020, Schultz had recorded just 13 catches for 122 yards. In 2019, he caught just one single pass. In the 2020 season he’s hauled in 51 catches for 510 yards and three touchdowns. Schultz has also averaged 10 yards per reception and has a catch percentage of nearly 70%. The tight end has caught at least three passes in all but two of the Cowboys’ 13 games this season.

His performance on the field has resulted in much more playing time. Since Week 8, Schultz has averaged being on the field for 92% of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps.

In his article on Schultz, Nick Eatman mentioned he became just the fifth tight end in franchise history to record 50 catches in a regular season.

But fast forward four months and here is Schultz, who recently became the fifth tight end in franchise history to record 50 catches in a regular season.

Think about that for a moment.

Jason Witten, Jay Novacek, Doug Cosbie and now Schultz. He has 51 receptions this year with still three games to play. Not bad for a guy who entered training camp fighting for a roster spot.

Eatman is 100% correct, it’s a pretty crazy realization. In fact, Schultz is on pace to come close to doubling the production Blake Jarwin had in 2019.

Pro Football Focus has even shown Schultz some love this season. In seven games, Schultz has had an overall offensive grade above 68. He also has graded out with a 70.4 run-blocking grade on the season, a very solid mark.

The tight end position that was once a huge question mark when Jarwin went down, has become one of this team’s few strengths. The tandem of Jarwin and Schultz will be one of the better duos in the NFL next season.

Just a few months ago, Dalton Schultz appeared to be on the brink of starting a new chapter in a different city in the NFL. Five months later, he’s proven he is here to stay.