The Dalton Schultz Mystery

So this is a continuation of an article that was already posted a few days ago, "The Dalton Schultz Conundrum", if you haven’t read it or just need a refresher about what I already covered here is the link:

Now this article is going to go over his blocking ability. Some people will have you believe that he is a below average blocker or in some cases, a straight up liability. That's just not true. I don’t know where people got this idea from, maybe some people have some negative memories of him when he was a rookie or in his second year, because if you watch him play he is a damn good blocker, not perfect, but really solid.

Pass Protection: Take this play for example, he's going against Shaquil Barrett, you know, just some guy that's coming off an All-Pro season:

You can see how Barrett shoots inside to penetrate the C gap, this is Schultz’s responsibility and he is not going to get any help because the Bucs are really trying to clog up the middle of the line. Because there are 3 Defensive linemen all bunched up in the middle, the Offensive line has to account for that by putting 4 bodies to help out with protection. They have to do this because if they just leave 3 on 3 this will leave the line really vulnerable to stunts and other kinds of simulated pressures.

So now that Shultz realizes that Barrett wants to go inside, he gets his left arm inside Barrett's chest to stop his forward momentum. Realizing that, Barrett tries to yank him to the side to get him off balance. But Schultz doesn’t let up, he keeps his hands in his chest and re-anchors to get back in control and win the rep. It wasn’t a pretty win but it's a win nonetheless.

You wanna see a clean win?

Look at how he stone walls the defender and gives up little to no ground. This is just textbook stuff, Feet are wide to keep balance and power, his butt is low to the ground, his hands are right on the inside of the defender's chest. I mean if you slapped Zack Martin’s jersey on him for this rep I couldn’t tell you the difference (Besides the fact that one is 40+ pounds heavier).

So what about his Run Blocking ability?

Here you can see how he helps out Collins on the double team to really seal off the Interior Defender and after that, you can see his eyes shoot up to the next level defender. He sees that he wants to follow right behind the pulling lineman to fill in that new gap created. However Schultz gets to him to redirect him into a bunch of traffic so that he gets caught outside the gap he was wanting to fill.

An even better example is against the New York Giants.

He’s the second Tight End counting outside to in. Another text book block, just fires off into a low stance to get leverage on the defender and hold him in place for the play. This just goes to show how much Kellen Moore trusts this guy to hold his own in terms of blocking. Yeah he gets pushed a little into the gap that he was supposed to make clean but he didn't lose the rep.

Honestly guys there really doesn't seem to be a big issue with his blocking, he wins a whole lot more than he loses. And yes he does lose every once in a while, he isn’t Kittle or Gronkowski. But there is a reason Kellen Moore runs behind Schultz, he is someone he can depend on to win his matchup.

The only thing I have to complain about with his blocking is that he struggles with DBs, I mean he does get in their way most of the time but you would really like to see him use his frame to bury them into the ground. I assume he isn’t that aggressive because he knows that they are shiftier than him and just doesn’t want them to get around him. But sometimes you really do just want to see him lay out a 5’10 Nickel Corner, but he just doesn’t. Look at this Play:

Schultz I love you, but you have to engage him! Gallup would have had a one on one with the safety and could have taken it to the house! He doesn't normally lose this badly but there are some plays where if he just engaged the DB at a different angle he could have helped turn a 6 yard gain into a 10 yard one or in this case, a loss of 1 into a gain of 15 at minimum.

Conclusion: Dalton is one of the most underrated Tight Ends not just for the Cowboys, but in the entire League. He’s a versatile chess piece that can be lined up on the line, as a power slot or if you just need him to block he'll do that too. To put into perspective how good he was. Look at these Stats:

He was 3rd in Receptions (78), 6th in Targets (101), 6th in Yards (808), 5th in Touchdowns (8), his average yards per reception was ranked 15th (10.4) and finally his average yards per game was 9th (47.5), and a drop rate of 3.4%

I cannot stress this enough, you can’t just be a "solid Tight End" and put up borderline top 5 Stats. You can see on the tape the work he's put in to be a better catcher and a better blocker and the stats show it. So honestly, he deserves whatever contract he gets. Now if I'm the Cowboys I pay this man. However I don’t think they will. After this year Daks contract goes nuclear along with other contracts and with the near future extension of Diggs and Lamb I don’t see how they keep Schultz on the roster unless they do some contract reworks like the Rams, Eagles or Saints.

So please guys when he inevitably gets paid, don’t think that some team overpaid him or that it’s a dumb contract. He worked his butt off to get to where he's at as a player and isn’t some guy you can just easily replace. They took a Tight End in this draft in, ironically, the same round to maybe just be 70% of Schultz which says a lot about Schultz.

Projected stats for 2022:

Rec: 85

Yards: 915

TDs: 9

Y/G: 55

I know it’s hard to have a better year than the one he just had, but you have to realize Dak is going to have to trust him more than ever. The first 6 weeks until Gallup gets back he is most likely going to be the number 2 option in the passing game. And when he does come back, can we trust that Gallup can remain healthy? Who’s going to take targets from him? Washington? Tolbert? Maybe Pollard/Zeke. He also knows that he needs to play well on this franchise tag to cash out next year. So hopefully this deep dive into the mystery of Schultz helps paint him in a different picture or if you already knew he was this good, welcome to the club. Thanks for reading and be safe.

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