Dalton Schultz is frustrated. So frustrated in fact he has decided to skip the Dallas Cowboys voluntary organized team activities and perhaps more offseason practices. Although he has little to gain since he’s already signed his $10.9 million franchise tag, he is hoping his absence ramps up contract negotiations for what he hopes turns into a long-term deal.
Frustrated by the state of contract talks, #Cowboys franchise-tagged TE Dalton Schultz informed the team he won’t attend the rest of voluntary OTAs, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 6, 2022
Schultz already signed his franchise tender, locking in a $10.931 million salary for 2022 if no deal by July 15.
Like it or not, skipping OTAs, and maybe even more of the offseason, is probably in the best interest of Dalton Schultz and his future, whether it’s with the Cowboys or not. There’s no real reason for him to be out there opening himself up to a potential injury that could put his 2022 season in jeopardy. And, it could actually be a blessing in disguise for Dallas.
The Cowboys already know what they have in Dalton Schultz. What they don’t know is what they have depth-wise behind him at the tight end position. After Blake Jarwin’s release, Dallas is in search of a new TE2 to replace him. With Schultz now expected to be out for an unknown amount of time, an opportunity arises for someone to step up to claim that job.
Cowboys’ 2022 TE depth chart
- Dalton Schultz
- Jeremy Sprinkle
- Sean McKeon
- Ian Bunting
- Jake Ferguson (R)
- Peyton Hendershot (R)
Looking at the current depth chart at tight end, it certainly looks as if the Dallas Cowboys would be in trouble if Dalton Schultz is subtracted from the equation. However, that could change after further evaluating the depth at the position in practices during his absence, hence the “blessing in disguise” remark from earlier.
John Owning says it best.
Im a big Dalton Schultz fan, but a potential holdout doesn't worry me a bit. If anything, just more reps for McKeon and Ferguson, which is good long term imo— John Owning (@JohnOwning) June 6, 2022
All in all, Dalton Schultz’ decision to skip voluntary OTAs and any other practices should have minimal impact on his readiness for the upcoming 2022 season. He already knows the system and his role in said system. What it does though is help to keep him healthy and provides more practice time to figure out who fits where on the depth chart behind him.
It may be a small silver lining, but a silver lining nonetheless. Things may or may not work out in Schultz’s favor, but whatever happens his absence does create an opportunity for the Cowboys. If they end up not liking what they see from their current depth, dipping back into free agency is still an option. That of course remains to be seen though.