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Could TE Dalton Schultz Be Cowboys Biggest Surprise In 2018?

Kevin Brady

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Dallas Cowboys Draft Stanford TE Dalton Schultz With 137th Overall Pick
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The retirement of long time legend Jason Witten has left a lot of uncertainty around the tight end position in Dallas. The Cowboys haven't done a great job of preparing their tight ends group for life without Witten in the past, though they did draft one just last week.

That rookie tight end is Stanford's Dalton Schultz, and though he was only a fourth round pick, he's already being projected to be the Cowboys' biggest rookie surprise in 2018.

Ian Wharton put together a list predicting who will be each team's biggest surprise from their rookie class. His choice for the Cowboys? That very fourth round tight end, Dalton Schultz.

"The former Stanford Cardinal was never an overly productive player in college, totaling just 55 receptions, 555 yards and five touchdowns in three years. So expectations aren't for him to become a Pro Bowler, but he's also athletic enough to become more than a depth piece as a rookie. Schultz will be a contributor for this Cowboys passing attack in 2018."

Wharton also cites the Cowboys' current lack of tight end talent as a reason for Schultz's opportunity to surprise people in 2018. After all, he could very well be the 2nd tight end right after training camp. While Geoff Swaim is expected to be the starter, fan favorite Rico Gathers has been a bit of a mystery over the last year.

It doesn't sound like the Cowboys staff is too high on Gathers, which could give Schultz the chance he needs to gain playing time early on.

I doubt that Dalton Schultz will be the Cowboys starting tight end week one of the 2018 season, but I do agree that he has the chance to have a productive year, especially for a fourth round pick. Already rather polished as a run blocker, Schultz could prove critical to the Cowboys efforts to run the ball and control the clock.

He won't be asked to fill Jason Witten's shoes, but Dalton Schultz could prove to be an excellent day three pick for the Dallas Cowboys.


Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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14 Comments
  • winstar

    What do you think? Tell us at boards.insidethestar.com.

  • John McClain

    I think that Rico Gathers is the future at TE. The rookie that should surprise is the second linebacker that they drafted Covington

  • Tommy Davis

    Absolutely ludicrous, this guy was not a productive player in college because he is not a very good player period. You folks amaze me, you would rather anyone play rather than the talented Rico Gathers. Dallas should be in the business of winning football games and to do that you play your talent. They should have given him reps last year backing up Witten whose production was on the decline due to his age. If the boys want to compete with the Eagles, Rams, Falcons, and an improved Giants team, the decision to play Gathers should be a no brainer. Gathers is a mismatch nightmare, 6’8 , athletic, fast, great jumping ability, and good hands. Adding a weapon like him to an offense with Zeke and Dak along with Beasely, Gallup, Williams, Tavon Austin and Allen Hurn would make the offense potent again as long as the O-Line performs like it did in 2016.

    • Will

      Our TE position is predicated on blocking. While I too love Rico, he will end up being our 3rd down TE as the pass catcher and end zone threat. Rico can’t block like an extra o lineman, Schultz is the best in this year’s class at blocking, and at the end of the day, our offense flows through Zeke, so don’t be shocked when Schultz starts

    • Hobbes49

      Wasn’t Gathers on IR with a severe concussion last year?

      • Tommy Davis

        Folks, no one has a concussion for an entire season, that was Cowboys management manipulation of the 53 man roster. Most games Witten was the only tight end dressed.

        • Hobbes49

          I am not saying the Cowboys didn’t hold him out for some other reason, but a concussion can most absolutely last well over one year from a symptom standpoint. Depends entirely on the severity. Doesn’t really make sense they wouldn’t have given him a shot if he was physically able.

    • Troy

      FYI Tommy…You cannot go by Schultz’s numbers. His Junior and Senior season at Stanford they played mucical QB’s. They really struggled at QB which really effected every players numbers. They have always been a rn first team, but much more so the past two years. He will be a good one I belive; good size, speed and the guys has good hands.

      Also, I am all in on Rico. Hopefully he can stay healthy this year as he was on IR all year with concussion like symptoms. The guy can be a beast if he can come around. He has all the tools to be GREAT…but will he?

    • GoNavyBeatArmy

      He wasn’t ‘productive’ in the passing game because that isn’t how Stanford uses their TEs. They use them primarily for blocking in the run game.

      How do you know Rico is ‘talented’? It’s ludicrous to proclaim a player who hasn’t played a single snap in the regular NFL season ‘talented’, especially when that player has never played TE. Does he have potential? Certainly, but there’s a ton to learn about the TE position, route running, defensive play adjustment, blocking, blitz recognition. Rico hasn’t had any experience with any of that and the injury he suffered last TC cost him an entire year of experience.

      • Tommy Davis

        Preseason prepares you for the regular season, and in case you did not see him, he excelled and blocked adequately as well. He ran good routes, created separation, caught balls in traffic and was just a beast. No other tight end on the Cowboys roster can do those things. As far as the blocking goes, 90% of Zeke’s running is between the tackles. Witten rarely blocked for Zeke from his tight end position. When the Cowboys run a sweep with Tavon Austin and they feel the need to put in a better blocking tight end, they can do so. But as far as the passing game, Gathers is a no brainer.

  • Will

    Couldn’t agree more. Schultz is more productive than most think offensively, too. I live in Nor Cal, and I went to a handful of Stanford games over the last few years. When Stanford used him in the passing game, he more than held his own

  • Hobbes49

    Real good article. But no mention of Jarwin in regards to guys already on the roster. The Cowboys called him up to keep the Eagles from snatching him, they must think he has something to offer

  • Mike Mcdermott

    Hope he can play some. Swaim the starter, really? That guy didn’t do a thing at Texas. Can’t believe Gathers, even without college FB experience, can’t start over him!

  • Ervinlang318

    No one was getting on the field if Witten had anything to say about it. Didnt matter if Novacek was his backup, Novacek was gonna have a season long concussion as well

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Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary

Sean Martin

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Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary 1

The Dallas Cowboys best move of the offseason may very well be hiring Kris Richard as their new passing game coordinator. Despite not signing any free agents or drafting added talent for Richard to work with in the secondary, the Cowboys have plenty of reasons to feel great about their current starters - along with an intriguing class of UDFAs.

The prospects of Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Byron Jones, and Xavier Woods working with Richard to sharpen their skills with Seattle's "Legion of Boom" fabricator is as good as it gets. In a very short period of time, the cornerback position has turned into one of the hardest spots for fringe players to make the Dallas Cowboys roster.

Don't tell this to San Diego State's Kameron Kelly. Neither Richard or Kelly may be household names around the NFL, but San Francisco 49ers Cornerback Richard Sherman certainly is. Sherman also happens to be the player the Cowboys are looking for Kelly -- an undrafted free agent that didn't receive a single college offer from "power five" schools -- to emulate.

Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary

Dallas Cowboys Passing Game Cooridinator Kris Richard with Richard Sherman

Given all that Sherman meant to Richard's defenses since being drafted by his Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, these feel like impossible expectations for Kelly to live up to.

The 6015 (6' 1 5/8") defender didn't even play the same position as Sherman until his final collegiate season, slowly making the transition from WR to DB at SDSU by starting as a Sophomore and Junior at safety.

Now just another player in a blue jersey with white numbers at The Star, Kelly is looking to earn the star on a team that may look to remain young, deep, and most importantly versatile in the secondary by keeping one or more UDFAs.

That is, if any of these long shot players deserve a spot on the final 53-man roster. Kelly already has an edge on this field, blessed with the length and daunting frame that allows Richard and the Cowboys to dream of featuring their own Richard Sherman.

"I think he’s trying to turn me into his next Richard Sherman or something". - Dallas Cowboys Cornerback Kameron Kelly

Kris Richard is going to coach everybody he comes across hard. He knows no other way. Kam Kelly is already embracing this, seeing the Cowboys vision for him and not backing down from the challenge.

Turn on the tape for this "diamond in the rough" prospect, and you'll see a player that carries this same competitive toughness onto the field.

Mike Mayock on Twitter

Will a DB compete / tackle ? Top of screen- flat footed read on bubble- trusts eyes and goes ! Just checking boxes- I see you, kameron Kelly of SDSU.... https://t.co/fJM4s16Eq1

Kelly joins Charvarius Ward, Donovan Olumba, and Tyree Robinson as the Cowboys class of UDFAs at both cornerback and safety. An athletic DB out of Oregon, Robinson has made a strong initial impression with several plays on the ball in drills so far.

However, it was Kam Kelly that set up an interception for Jameill Showers in yesterday's practice by getting in the face of rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup.

Projecting anything that resembles a starting lineup for the Cowboys defense in the last week of May is silly. So too is realistically expecting Kelly, Ward, Olumba, or Robinson to ever crack this lineup.

Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary 2

Dallas Cowboys CB Kameron Kelly

The Cowboys could find themselves without enough practice snaps to go around for starting caliber players like Awuzie, Lewis, Jones, Anthony Brown, and even Marquez White. This does not bode well for Kam Kelly, who is only going to continue generating buzz from fans and the Dallas media.

For now, Kelly is getting his chance though. The Cowboys are ever-so-slowly getting back into form for 2018 - doing so with many familiar faces no longer on the roster. This team is going to look different on both sides of the ball come September, and Cowboys Nation can only hope it's for the better given the impressive amount of depth all over the field.

Kam Kelly won't back down from the depth the Cowboys have at CB, expecting to impress his new coach Kris Richard in the mold of three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman.

Tell us what you think about "Despite Going Undrafted, Kameron Kelly A Welcome Addition to Cowboys Secondary" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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Dallas Cowboys

WR Terrell Owens Featured As A Cowboy On Madden 2019 Cover

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Blog - Getcha Popcorn Ready: Terrell Owens Is Greatest 81 In Dallas Cowboys History

It's been a tumultuous few years for former Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens, to say the least. Based on his numbers Owens deserved to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but due to his off field "antics" and poor relationships with voters, Owens was kept out of the Hall of Fame until this year.

Now that he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this Summer, Terrell Owens has earned another honor: cover athlete for EA Sports' upcoming Madden video game.

Madden has become a staple of football culture over the years, and being placed on the cover of their Hall of Fame edition is pretty special.

What came as a surprise, however, is that Terrell Owens is featured as a Dallas Cowboy on the cover of the game.

Bleacher Report on Twitter

@terrellowens will be on the cover of #Madden19 Hall of Fame edition

Terrell Owens played on a multitude of teams during his NFL career, spending 3 seasons with the Cowboys from 2006-2008. People tend to forget how great the Tony Romo-to-Terrell Owens connection was in Dallas, especially during their 13-3 2007 season.

That year, Owens caught 81 balls for 1,355 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also earned First Team All Pro honors during the same season.

This is the first time the Cowboys uniform has ever graced the cover of a Madden game, and the second time Terrell Owens will be on the cover of a professional football video game. The first time came as an Eagle on the cover of ESPN NFL 2K5, ironically just one year before Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was the cover athlete for Madden 2006.

Terrell Owens then announced the news himself on Twitter, by tweeting out the following video.

Terrell Owens on Twitter

It's that time! I've made my decision to return to football. Madden 19 HOF #stayready https://t.co/pLL4lTAhD2

Terrell Owens is arguably the greatest (talent wise) receiver to ever play for the Cowboys, though he lacked the longevity to match any of the stat totals of guys like Michael Irvin and Dez Bryant. It's a shame the 2007 season ended the way it did, and that 2008 was such an utter disaster.

Those Cowboys teams were really talented, hence why they won 11 games and another division crown after Owens' departure in 2009.


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Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott Is Taking Control Of The Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Brady

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Dallas Cowboys 2018 Preseason Schedule Released
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into 2018 there is no question that the Dallas Cowboys are Dak Prescott's team. While some of the Cowboys fan base is skeptical of just how good Prescott is/can be, the franchise had placed all of their eggs in the Prescott-basket over the last two offseasons.

They've begun to build the "Dak-friendly offense," attempting to recreate the circumstances which surrounded him during his highly successful rookie season. By drafting offensive lineman Connor Williams, wide receiver Michael Gallup, and signing wide out Allen Hurns the Cowboys have made a conscious effort to help their young quarterback in his development.

But what do his fellow teammates think about him? Well, thus far during OTAs, the respect they have for Dak Prescott as a quarterback and a leader is clear.

Members of Prescott's wide receiver corps have been incredibly vocal about the respect they have for Dak Prescott, including two of their newest additions. Hurns told Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News that Dak "runs things" around the locker room, and that the Cowboys will have no problems with leadership as long as Dak is at the helm.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Allen Hurns: "When I first got here, what surprised me a lot was Dak's leadership. He's only in his third year, but he's a very vocal guy. He runs things. I was very surprised by that. ... I don't think we'll have a problem with leadership.

Tavon Austin chimed in as well, telling Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News that while he expected Prescott to have "some juice" to him, meeting him in person allowed him to realize that his leadership is on a different level than even he expected.

Brandon George on Twitter

I asked Cowboys WR Tavon Austin on his impressions of Dak Prescott before his arrival in Dallas: "I always knew he had some juice to him, some swag to him and when I finally get here and meet him it's definitely a whole different ballgame because it was to even another level.

It's not only members of the offense which are showing their respect for Dak Prescott's leadership, however. Team sack leader DeMarcus Lawrence is noticing as well. This week Lawrence said that Dak is clearly taking control of the offense, and you can see it "every day in how he works."

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence: "Dak is taking a lot of control over that offense. He's trying to take his game to the next level and be one of the elite quarterbacks in this league. You can see it every day in how he works.

There is an argument that can be made that the release of Dez Bryant and retirement of Jason Witten have allowed Dak Prescott to take that control. The veterans on offense from the Tony Romo-era have begun to disappear, and Prescott is now making the Dallas Cowboys "his team."

Of course, Prescott still has to do it on the field. While much of his first two seasons have been impressive, the final few weeks of 2017 featured some shaky play from Dak Prescott. But, the moves which were made this offseason combined with the full time return of running back Ezekiel Elliott should allow Prescott to take another step forward in 2018.

And if the Cowboys plan on being competitive as a team, they'll need Prescott to make those strides.


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