Dallas and Schultz need to get ink on paper before July 15th.
The Dallas Cowboys have less than two weeks to reach agreement with Tight End Dalton Schultz on a long-term contract. The deadline for signing franchise-tagged players to a deal is on July 15, now just 12 days away, and the two parties are reportedly still far apart in their talks.
Dallas placed their 2022 franchise tag on Schultz after his rookie contract expired this offseason. It will give him a one-year salary of $10.9 million; a dramatic bump from the $2.2 million Dalton earned last year and roughly $1.1 million he averaged over his first four seasons.
But while it sounds like Schultz should be happy with such a significant raise, the sticking point is what other recent TE contracts have done to the market. Dalton’s peers and even less-productive tight ends like David Njoku and Hunter Henry are now averaging $12-$14 million per season.
Naturally, Schultz and his agent think he should be making more and they have a good case for it. But the Cowboys are rightfully concerned that Dalton’s stats are more of a product of their high-volume offense and not a reflection of his personal merit.
Simply put, Dallas doesn’t want to pay Schultz premium money for unexceptional talent.
Do you agree the Cowboys are just middle of the road by the talent they possess?
It seems like because of the notoriety, the Dallas Cowboys tend to be a franchise that always gets high praise heading into any given season. Most analysts put the Cowboys towards the top of their power rankings because they believe that year could finally be the year the organization turns things around.
That wasn’t necessarily the case for Pro Football Focus. While these weren’t traditional power rankings, PFF did release a 32-team ranking of the best overall rosters in the NFL. The top three teams were the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Los Angeles Chargers. And while (usually) the Cowboys would land somewhere in the top 12, that didn’t happen.
America’s Team landed right smack in the middle at No. 16. Much to the dismay of Cowboys fans, PFF believed the team’s overall rosters were worse than franchises like the Browns, Eagles, Dolphins, Saints, and Broncos. That seems a bit harsh. Dallas may not have a roster worthy of a top ten spot, but to say their roster is worse than the Dolphins and Saints is a bit of a stretch.
To be fair, PFF didn’t make this opinionated, so to speak. They combined the 2021 PFF grades of every player to rank the teams. Players like Trevon Diggs, Osa Odighizuwa, Neville Gallimore, LVE, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, Terence Steele, and many others who all had grades below 64.0 likely brought the team average down.
The “wolf hunter” could be in for a big season this year.
Looking at LVE’s professional career, it’s impossible to not notice the injuries and the impact those injuries made in his game. As a rookie, Vander Esch was long, strong, and an impenetrable wall. If he got his mitts on you, you were not escaping.
His 6.7 percent missed tackle percentage was amongst the best in the NFL and frankly, those numbers don’t even do him justice. His 81 inch wingspan (which puts him in the 96th percentile) was used to grab and drag down ball careers on a regular basis. There’s a reason most linebackers with low missed tackle percentages have short arms, and it’s the same reason that made LVE so dang special as a rookie. It’s all about the strength.
It’s no surprise that when the injuries hit, the missed tackles started piling up as well. In the nine games he played in 2019, his missed tackle percentage ballooned to 15.3. In his 10 games in 2020, it extended to 16.7%.
It’s not exactly making a leap to say health is related to strength, strength is related to missed tackle rate, and missed tackle rate is related to quality of overall play.
Cowboys Trade of Ezekiel Elliott? Would There Really Be A Benefit?- Logan Macdonald, Sports Illustrated
At 27 years old in the upcoming season, it truly is a make-or-break year for Elliott.
Seemingly all the headlines regarding Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott this offseason have been questioning his future in Big D. Most recently, Bleacher Report identified Elliott as a player Dallas should trade before the season.
As a result? Let’s just say seats to get back on the Elliott bandwagon are readily available.
Last season, Elliott posted over 1,000 rushing yards on 4.2 yards per carry with 10 rushing touchdowns. Nonetheless, 2021 was considered a down year.
Ranking as the seventh leading rusher on a partially torn PCL and then being criticized for it is seems harsh. For many running backs, that would be a career year. Yet Elliott gets thrown into trade rumors.
While doubt has been a surrounding narrative for Elliott, his team has adamantly had his back. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy expects Elliott to bounce back, and cites his health as a major reason.
“I think the biggest thing with Zeke is he’s completely healthy now and he’s had a tremendous offseason,” McCarthy said. “He’s in top shape. At the end of the day, he’s an extremely instinctive, tough, smart football player, great teammate. So, I think he’s definitely set himself up for that.”
Only 10 more weeks, 70 days, until the regular season. Coincidentally, 70 is the number of yards gained in this iconic Alvin Harper play.
The new season can’t get here fast enough. The schedule is officially out – placing the Cowboys against Tom Brady and the Bucs for Week 1 on Sept. 11 at AT&T Stadium.
Lots will happen between now and then, including another training camp in sunny Oxnard, Calif., along with three preseason games.
But it’s never too early to count down to the start of the season.
As the regular season is now within sight, we will celebrate the exact number that will count us down to the Sept. 11 opener.
Today, we will continue with 70 days to the start of the season.
The Play: Arguably, one of the most important plays in franchise history, and it wasn’t even a touchdown. But in the 1992 NFC Championship Game, the Cowboys held a 24-20 lead over the 49ers, who had just scored and had all the momentum with four minutes to play. But instead of sitting on the ball and trying to milk the clock, the Cowboys stayed aggressive. On first down from the 20, Troy Aikman fired a pass to Alvin Harper, who took off for a 70-yard completion that would eventually lead to the game-clinching score. That play propelled the Cowboys to not only the Super Bowl, but it started a dynasty of three titles in a four-year span.
At less than $13 million per year over eight seasons, the front office got something right.
All that being said, when it comes to the hulking left tackle Tyron Smith and his contract, it has widely been viewed from the day it was signed as a great deal for the team. The Cowboys hit it out of the park by locking up one of the leagues premier offensive tackles for a long, team-friendly deal. There have been some years, and many contracts in between then and now, but as we sit today, the deal is still very much so receiving praise as PFF ranks every NFC team’s best contract. This is what they had to say regarding the Tyron Smith deal:
DALLAS COWBOYS: LT TYRON SMITH (EIGHT YEARS, $97.6 MILLION | TWO YEARS, $28.1 MILLION IN CASH REMAINING)
When we look back at the 2010s decade of the NFL, this contract will land on the list for best values across the entire league. It’s hard to overstate just how much surplus value Smith has provided the Cowboys since signing his eight-year extension in 2014.
Smith has generated 1.92 PFF Wins Above Replacement since 2014 (fourth among tackles) while never receiving more than $11.08 million in cash in any season.
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