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3 former first-round picks Cowboys could target to replace Dalton Schultz

Will the Cowboys replace Dalton Schultz with a former first-round pick?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys have a real dilemma on their hands this offseason. With Dalton Schultz likely leaving via free agency, and/or Blake Jarwin potentially becoming a salary-cap casualty, they should be in the market for another starting tight end for the 2022 season. Today, we will take a look at a few former first-round draft picks who could fit the bill.

O.J. Howard

Age: 27 | Height: 6’6” | Weight: 251

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

O.J. Howard was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round (19th overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft. Unfortunately for him, he’s never really lived up to his draft status, even though he was an ascending player early on in his career. Due to some untimely injuries, and the arrival of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, Howard now finds himself hoping to resurrect his career with another team. Maybe that team could be the Dallas Cowboys.

O.J. Howard is exactly the type of TE the Cowboys could target as a potential Dalton Schultz replacement. Throughout his career at Alabama, and with the Buccaneers, he’s grown accustomed to doing the dirty work as a blocker, but has the talent to be a threat in the passing game as well, even though his stats may suggest otherwise. Since his professional career hasn’t really materialized as of yet, he could also be a cost-effective signing.

Evan Engram

Age: 27 | Height: 6’3” | Weight: 240

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Evan Engram was drafted by the New York Giants in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. Engram is the only tight end on this list to develop into a full-time starter since being drafted in the first round. He’s been one of the more consistent weapons in the passing game for the Giants over the past five years, but unfortunately for him, not good enough to receive a long-term extension to remain in New York.

As far as the Cowboys are concerned, Engram is a little different from what they typically look for in a tight end. He is more of a big receiver than a traditional TE, and because of that, has been known to struggle as an in-line blocker. While he can be a real matchup problem in the passing game, he has also shown a tendency to drop passes throughout his career. If the price is right though, he could be a good fit in Dallas.

Hayden Hurst

Age: 28 | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 260

Atlanta Falcons v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Hayden Hurst was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round (25th overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s been a victim of unfortunate circumstances since being drafted. First it was Mark Andrews who beat him out for the starting job as a rookie. Then after he was traded to the Atlanta Falcons, they ended up drafting Kyle Pitts, who significantly decreased his role from the get-go. Maybe change of venue can help resurrect his career.

Out of the other former first-round tight ends on this list, Hurst may be the closest to what the Cowboys had in Dalton Schultz. Like Schultz, Hurst has been waiting for his opportunity to prove himself capable of being a starting TE in the NFL. He has all the tools to be such a player in both the running and passing game, but has never really received a chance to put it all together. He could possibly do that with the Cowboys.

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