Dalton Schultz has been in the news a bit this offseason. The young tight end is entering his fifth season currently under the franchise tag, but would like to have a long-term contract and has elected to skip OTA practices to prove that point. The question remains if Schultz will make himself available this week as the Cowboys head into the mandatory mini camp portion of the offseason.
While this is going on, the offseason around us stops for no one, and that includes the yearly position rankings that surface every year around this time. Dalton Schultz may want to cite Pro Football Focus at the negotiation table as their latest tight end rankings have him squarely in the mix for top 10 at his position.
8. DALTON SCHULTZ, DALLAS COWBOYS
Schultz was a bit of a surprise breakout in 2021, considering the Cowboys utilized him solely as a blocker in his first two NFL seasons and he was underwhelming when being integrated into the passing game in 2020. The 2018 fourth-round pick took his 63.8 receiving grade in 2020 to 77.4 in 2021, and while he isn’t going to shred single coverage like some of the Tier 1 guys, he can work soft spots against zone coverage and possesses strong hands. He finished top six last year in both drop rate (3.4%) and contested catch rate (63.2%, 12-of-19).
Schultz finished 2021 with the best statistical output of his career tallying 78 receptions for 808 yards and eight touchdowns. It was clear last year that Schultz was the guy in the middle down the seam and a safety blanket for quarterback Dak Prescott. Stats shows us that since being given an opportunity in the passing attack starting in 2020, Schultz has made the most of his opportunity.
Contract situations seem to get messy at times, especially in Dallas, so it remains to see how this will all shake out for Schultz as we approach the franchise tag deadline of July 15th. But what is clear is that Schultz is quickly gaining national respect among those who rank the positions.