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Cowboys free agency: TE Dalton Schultz signs with Houston Texans

Schultz’s departure ends a five-year run in Dallas and leaves them with an inexperienced TE depth chart

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Dalton Schultz got a new contract from a Texas team, but probably not the one most people expected. The free agent tight end signed with the Houston Texans on Monday, ending his five-year run with the Dallas Cowboys.

Houston has added Schultz, a starter for Dallas over the last three years, on a one-year deal worth up to $9 million. It is less than the $10.9 million he earned last year with the Cowboys on the franchise tag.

The Cowboys had the option to tag Schultz again this offseason but it would have cost them $13 million to do it a second time. They instead chose to use it on running back Tony Pollard.

With prospects Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot entering their second years, plus April’s NFL Draft still to come, Dallas appeared content to let Schultz find a new home. While he’s put up some strong numbers in the last three seasons, the Cowboys may see Schultz more as a product of their offensive system than a catalyst.

Since taking over as the starter in early 2020, replacing Blake Jarwin after a Week 1 injury, Schultz has posted 198 catches for 2,000 yards and 17 TDs. He’s been a favorite for fantasy owners and a dependable target for quarterback Dak Prescott.

Still, in a conversation that goes back to last spring’s debate over the franchise tag, many feel that Schultz is an average starting talent. After a down year in 2022 where he failed to make up for the injuries and issues at wide receiver, Schultz seems to have convinced the Cowboys of that as well.

Nevertheless, the five seasons that Dallas got out of Schultz was a great return for just a fourth-round pick in 2018. He overcame a slow start those first two years to become an offensive fixture for three seasons. Now he’ll get a chance to prove his doubters wrong with the Texans.

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