The Dallas Cowboys have had several major decisions to make this offseason, and that’s included saying goodbye to players out of contract or in free agency.
While the team has made an effort to keep the majority of the roster together, they’ve already said goodbye to running back Ezekiel Elliott. Less than a week later, tight end Dalton Schultz is the next big name to find his future elsewhere.
NFL media insider Tom Pelissero reported that Schultz is signing a one-year deal with the Houston Texans, marking an end to his time with Dallas after five years.
“The Texans are signing former Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz and former Bills running back Devin Singletary, NFL Network Insiders Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported on Monday, per sources. Schultz’s deal is for one-year and is worth up to $9 million, per Pelissero,” the NFL.com article reads.
With the Cowboys, Schultz established himself as one of the promising young tight ends in the league. However, a disappointing 2022 season while playing on the franchise tag signaled a departure and that is now confirmed.
Schultz Shines with Dallas in 2020, 2021
As with the majority of young talent in the NFL, Schultz needed time to develop and adapt to the professional game after joining the Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft.
The Stanford product broke through in his third season after totaling just 13 receptions and 122 receiving yards according to Pro Football Reference. But in 2020, he finally got his opportunity and put in a solid campaign with 615 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
His performance raised expectations in 2021 and Schultz surpassed them. The 26-year-old totaled 808 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, seemingly setting up a massive payday as his rookie contract concluded.
But the two sides didn’t reach a deal, leading the Cowboys to franchise tag Schultz. That meant that the TE was getting nearly $11 million, but Schultz wasn’t able to produce at that value due to injuries and other factors.
Schultz still put up 577 receiving yards and five touchdowns, but for the money, it didn’t add up. Now, he will bet on himself again with a one-year deal with Houston.
Cowboys Offered Schultz Deal Before Texans
The relationship between the Cowboys and Schultz isn’t exactly clear, but what is apparent is that the two sides have seemingly never agreed what the TE’s value is.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported in early March that the Cowboys did offer a multi-year contract to Schultz. The value of that deal was clearly not to Schultz’s liking.
“Assuming Pollard doesn’t get a deal by Tuesday in Dallas, and with Engram tagged, Dalton Schultz will avoid being tagged and hit the market as the top available tight end,” Breer said on March 6, 2023. “He’s already turned down a pretty solid multiyear offer from the Cowboys.”
Considering the negotiating issues during the 2022 offseason, it isn’t really a surprise that the Cowboys and Schultz couldn’t reach a deal this year. Now, Dallas will look to TEs Peyton Hendershot and Jake Ferguson to step up in their second seasons.