Tight End Dalton Schultz was one of the positive stories for 2020 Cowboys. He took advantage of an unanticipated opportunity and had a very productive year. Dallas could trade Schultz in the coming months, as his rookie contract expires after this season.
Blake Jarwin was ready to start in 2020. He had been waiting for Jason Witten’s retirement and farewell tour last year. Jarwin’s chance was shortened by an ACL injury in Week 1. Schultz got the opportunity.
Schultz managed to catch 63 passes for 615 yards and four touchdowns last year, despite the injuries sustained at quarterback and offensive lines. He was tied for sixth in receiving, 11th in yards and 16th in scores.
Dalton was the most targeted tight end last year with only 89 passes. Schultz was the most efficient offensive player in the league, with over 100 targets.
CeeDee lamb, Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper were all there to draw attention to the defense. Dalton was able to shine because of this, but he still produced well despite all the receivers who put up big numbers.
We don’t know what we can expect from Blake Jarwin and Schultz as top-two TEs for Dallas in 2021. Will it be an open race? Jarwin will be back as starter, or will he have to fight for the job from Dalton?
The contract situation of both players is something that cannot be overlooked. Jarwin has signed through 2023 the contract he signed shortly before last season. The Cowboys signed Jarwin to a four-year contract worth $22 million. It was not a huge deal, but it was enough to indicate that they considered Jarwin their starter for the future.
Dalton Schultz was a 4th round draft pick in 2018, and is now entering the last year of his rookie contract. If the Cowboys do not resign him, he will be an unrestricted agent free in 2022.
Dallas may be encouraged to trade Schultz if Jarwin is back and becomes the player they thought he would be last year.
Not every NFL team has as many receivers as the Cowboys to distract the defense. They should all have a better quarterback situation than Dallas had after Week 5, and a strong offensive line. Schultz could be a valuable upgrade for tight end.
It is unlikely that anything will happen before training camp and the preseason. We need to see Jarwin’s health and then we can determine if he is able to make it through July or August. Dalton is an excellent insurance policy for any lingering problems that Blake may have.
It is also possible that injuries on other teams may have an impact on the market for trades. Schultz could be interested in a trade if one of the 31 NFL starters is injured.
Perhaps Dalton is the Cowboys’ starting position. If he is now considered the best player in Dallas, then he would likely be kept. The Cowboys will then likely cut Jarwin next offseason to make room for Schultz to sign a new contract.
The most interesting situation for the Dallas Cowboys offense is the TE situation. We were excited to see what Blake Jarwin could accomplish in 2020, and then disappointed to see him go, but we were delighted to see how Dalton Schultz took over in his place.
Schultz’s strong performance last season will keep him as the Dallas starter. Could it be that Schultz is traded to the Cowboys for a draft pick or another needed asset?