The Dallas Cowboys are in the middle of a difficult contract situation with fifth-year tight end Dalton Schultz, but is he “overvalued?”
That question has been the source of discussion amongst Cowboys fans and national media in the weeks since Schultz refused to attend an optional minicamp due to his contract. Schultz is set to play on the franchise tag and make $10.93 million this season, but CBS thinks he may already be getting too much money.
In a list by NFL reporter Patrik Walker, CBS Sports broke down overvalued players on every NFC team. At the very top of the story, Schultz and the Cowboys appear.
“In attempting to hone his skills as a catcher, he’s also regressed as a blocker — something he’s dedicating extra time to in 2022 — but the current contract impasse with the Cowboys reveals that he views himself as a top TE in the league deserving of a big payday; and that isn’t necessarily true, though he is a notable player in their offense,” Walker wrote.
It’s strong words for a player that was targeted more than any other Cowboys pass-catcher in 2021, but it’s also based in the fact that Schultz’s resume has just two seasons of notable performances.
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Cowboys Already Have Replacement?
Cracking 800 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 2021 was a notable feat, and Schultz deserves praise for his role over the past two seasons. But as Walker noted, the Cowboys are already looking to the future with Jake Ferguson.
Ferguson was selected in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft, the same round Schultz was taken in 2018 when he was pegged to replace Jason Witten. Further, Ferguson has a much more impressive college resume than when Schultz joined the Cowboys.
The Wisconsin tight end played a significant role for four seasons, catching a total of 13 touchdowns and putting up 1618 receiving yards in 47 games according to Sports Reference. Conversely, Schultz caught five touchdowns and amassed 555 receiving yards in 33 games.
Ferguson being Schultz’s successor is not a guarantee by any means. One is a player who has proven in back-to-back seasons that he’s, at worst, a Top 15 tight end in the league, and the other has never seen an NFL snap.
But Ferguson’s presence does mean the Cowboys can wait and see with their new rookie rather than jumping to give Schultz a contract.
Other NFC East ‘Overvalued’ Players
Of course, Cowboys fans are also probably interested in who CBS selected to round out the “overvalued” players of the NFC East. One of the least surprising has to come in the form of Washington Commanders QB Carson Wentz.
Wentz arrived in Washington after a catastrophic end to a promising 2021 season with the Indianapolis Colts, and is set to make a $22 million base salary according to Spotrac as he gets his third chance at being a starting QB.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Kenny Golladay was selected to represent the New York Giants after his underwhelming first season of a four-year, $72 million contract. In terms of the most surprising NFC East pick, Walker’s naming of Philadelphia Eagles QB Gardner Minshew II stands out.
His logic is that “Minshew Magic is over” and that people are giving too much respect to a backup QB. Perhaps, but for an “overvalued” list, a player making $2.5 million in 2022 feels like an odd choice.