Dalton Schultz and his play has been widely discussed this offseason. With the franchise tag deadline already come and passed, he is locked in and will be playing on the tag for 2022. The ‘millions of dollars’ question was about Schultz and his agent being able to get a long-term deal done with Jerry Jones and the front office. As Jerry has often said, “deadlines make deals”, so there was always a chance, however, in the end, though, no deal happened.
Schultz will get paid like a top tight end for one year at least, this we know, and that is what he’s ranked as according to Jeremy Fowler and an ESPN article. The latest “top 10” ranking by the network has Schultz squarely in the mix of the leagues best tight ends:
Highest ranking: 5 | Lowest ranking: Out of top 10
Age: 26 | Last year’s ranking: Unranked
Schultz’s two-year run in Dallas has been among the steadiest of tight end play leaguewide, seeing him compile 141 receptions, 1,423 yards and 12 touchdowns since 2020. Last season, Schultz’s 76.5% reception rate was the highest for any tight end who caught at least 50 passes (78 of 102 targets), and per NFL Next Gen Stats, his 5.0 catches above expectation ranked third at the position.
“Dependability, versatile with blocking, really good hands,” an AFC exec said.
Added an NFC offensive coach: “He can handle multiple roles — good hands, competitive blocker, can bend to get in and out of breaks. Not as dynamic as others on this list but really solid.”
Schultz is set to play the 2022 season on a $10.8 million franchise tag ...
Decision makers and people around the league clearly think highly of Schultz and his skills, as they note the production and dependability he has shown over the last two seasons that allowed him to make the list. Although there is room to grow the consensus is clear that he is viewed as a high-level tight end who has not quite cracked the upper echelon of the position, but is still widely respected for what he can bring to an offense and has the potential to get even better as time goes on.
Whether Schultz is in Dallas for the long term still remains to be seen, but what is clear is the Cowboys have a top-tier tight end on their roster, at least for now.