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Cowboys countdown to kickoff: #86 Luke Schoonmaker

The Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants in Week 1. and we’re counting down to it by jersey numbers.

NFLPA Rookie Premiere Portrait Session Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 86.

TE Luke Schoonmaker
Born: 28th September 1998 (24) - New Haven, Connecticut
College: Michigan Wolverines
Draft: 2023, Round 2, Pick 58, Dallas Cowboys

2022 Stats: (College)
Snaps: 599
Targets: 45
Receptions: 35
Yards: 418
Yards Per Catch: 11.9
Touchdowns: 3
Drops: 2
First Downs: 23
Penalties: 2

It took Luke Schoonmaker until 2021 (his fourth year) to make a big splash for Michigan, but it was more his blocking skills than his receiving talents that people took note on. That year his teammates and coaches named him the most reliable and consistent blocker for Michigan, and they also made remarks about his character as someone who never complained about his lack of targets. He did play for a fifth year in 2022 and it was this season he would see more targets in the passing game.

During his fifth year playing he had 35 receptions, which ranked second-most for Michigan, and recorded 418 yards which ranked third-most. On his 62 pass-blocking snaps for Michigan he never allowed a single sack and only allowed one pressure. He would injure his shoulder versus TCU in the Fiesta Bowl and had to take a reduced workload during the East-West Shrine Bowl.

Cowboys Outlook:
It’s clear why the Cowboys drafted the Michigan standout and that’s his blocking ability. This isn’t to dismiss his receiving ability. He hauled in six touchdowns in his last two seasons and proved to have soft and reliable hands. It’s hard not to be excited by his size and weight and what he can offer that the other tight ends for Dallas can’t provide. There will be much anticipation from fans due to his high draft selection, but given time to develop he has the talent to prove he was worthy of the second-round price tag.

Projected 2023 Stats:
Snaps: 629
Targets: 27
Receptions: 20
Yards: 165
Yards After Catch: 126
Touchdowns: 3

The Big Question:
How much impact will Schoonmaker make on offense during his rookie year? Comment below.

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Michigan v TCU Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

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