Cowboys Could Strike Trade for Historic $32 Million Unicorn, Says Analyst

Dak Prescott

Getty The Cowboys could allow tight end Dalton Schultz to walk in free agency.

The Dallas Cowboys are likely to have a new void at tight end with the potential departure of starter Dalton Schultz, and there is buzz the Atlanta Falcons could be open to trading star playmaker Kyle Pitts. Atlanta made history by taking Pitts with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, making the former Florida standout the highest tight end ever drafted.

Pro Football Focus’ John Owning put together a list of the top three moves the Cowboys could make to upgrade their offensive weapons this offseason. Owning grouped together Pitts, Stefon Diggs and DeAndre Hopkins as the top available options if the Cowboys choose the path of a blockbuster trade.

“Don’t rule out Pitts as a potential big-name trade target for the Cowboys,” Owning wrote on March 10, 2023. “Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith wasn’t a part of the staff that drafted Pitts, and given last year, he appears to value tight ends with more blocking prowess than Pitts’ uniquely talented pass-catching prowess, creating an opportunity for the Cowboys to acquire a young (22 years old), inexpensive (around a $9 million cap hit in 2023), field-stretching tight end to replace Schultz in the offense.”

What Would a Trade for Kyle Pitts Cost the Cowboys?

Despite being a top-five selection, Pitts has not exactly lived up to the lofty expectations that have followed the tight end into the league. Pitts struggled during his sophomore season notching just 28 receptions for 356 yards and two touchdowns in 10 appearances prior to sustaining a season-ending knee injury. The entire Falcons offense struggled in 2022, and Atlanta has been unable to create red zone opportunities for Pitts with the tight end having just three career TDs.

Pitts is just one year removed from his Pro Bowl rookie campaign with 68 catches for 1,026 yards and one touchdown. The tight end still has two seasons remaining on a four-year, $32.9 million rookie contract, and the Cowboys would also inherit the right to exercise Pitts’ fifth-year option.

Despite Pitts’ struggles, it would still be a surprise if the Falcons moved on from the tight end, especially given he has yet to suit up with projected starting quarterback Desmond Ridder. If the Cowboys were to make a move for Pitts, it would likely cost Dallas multiple high draft picks, especially given the team’s current first-round pick (No. 26) is at the end of day one.

Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, Kyle Pitts Drew Comparisons to Calvin Johnson, Tyreek Hill & Darren Waller

Heading into the 2021 draft, Pitts was often described as a “unicorn” given he is a 6’6″, 246-pound tight end built like an outside receiver.’s Lance Zierlein compared Pitts to Raiders star tight end Darren Waller, Dolphins speedster Tyreek Hill and Lions Hall of Fame legend Calvin Johnson.

“While the player comparison for the purposes of this scouting report is Darren Waller, Pitts may have the traits and talent to create mismatches similar to those created by Calvin Johnson and Tyreek Hill,” Zierlein wrote in his pre-draft profile of Pitts. “His rare blend of size, athleticism and ball skills are reminiscent of Megatron.

“His ability as a pass-catching tight end could force defenses in his division to alter the way they construct their roster. He’s a tough matchup for most linebackers and too big for most cornerbacks. He offers offensive coordinators the ability to align him all over the field and, like Waller, can become a highly targeted, highly productive pass catcher from the tight end position.”

Dallas already has some talented young tight ends on the roster in Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot. The Cowboys could also look to the draft to help replace Schultz, but Dallas should be first in line if Pitts surprisingly becomes available.

Jerry Jones LOVED Kyle Pitts in the 2021 NFL Draft

Cowboys fans may remember owner Jerry Jones gushing over Pitts prior to the 2021 draft. Pitts was long gone by the time Dallas was on the clock (eventually at No. 12) but things worked out well as the Cowboys landed Micah Parsons.

“Boy, I’ll tell you what- I’m excited to have you come into this league,” Jones told Pitts during his pre-draft interview with the Cowboys. “And, man, what a pair up we could do with ole Dak Prescott and some of those guys that we’ve got out there with options to get you the ball. So, we can dream of visions of sugar plums around here.”