Connect with us

Dallas Cowboys

Could TE Dalton Schultz Be Cowboys Biggest Surprise In 2018?

Kevin Brady

Published

on

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.

Advertisement
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

Game Notes

Cowboys Wishlist: Snap Julio Jones’ Hot Streak

Mauricio Rodriguez

Published

on

Cowboys Wishlist: Snap Julio Jones' Hot Streak

The Dallas Cowboys will try to get their second road win of the season against another inconsistent Atlanta Falcons team. As both try to get back to .500, this game will be filled with interesting matchups and implications. After upsetting the Philadelphia Eagles 27-20 last Sunday, the Cowboys need to get another upset win to keep being relevant in the league this year.

Here's this week's edition of Cowboys Wishlist! I hope you enjoy and I encourage you to let me know what your wishes are in the comments section below or tweet me @MauNFL!

Wish #1: Stop Julio Jones' 100-Yard Game Streak

With the Atlanta Falcons sitting at 4-5, many have overlooked Wide Receiver Julio Jones' hot streak. In each of his last four games, Jones has accounted for more than 100 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Totaling 476 yards in his last four games, Jones is ready to face Cowboys' Cornerback Byron Jones.

Byron has certainly been a pleasant surprise in 2018, playing at a great level right now. He has faced Odell Beckham and DeAndre Hopkins this year and made a good job of defending these "Tier 1" pass-catchers. It's worth noting the Cowboys are not making him "travel" with these players but rather keep him on a specific side of the field. That shouldn't change against the Falcons.

Wish #2: Contain WR Calvin Ridley

Back in April, Cowboys Nation eyed Calvin Ridley as a prospect who could end up wearing the Star on Sundays. However, Dallas passed on him and the Alabama product fell right unto the Falcons' lap. He's had a pretty good season and despite sharing the field with Julio Jones, he's done a great job as a rookie averaging 14 yards per reception.

The Cowboys need to contain him. While Dallas should feel comfortable with Byron doing his job, the truth is Chidobe Awuzie has struggled at times. Not that he's suddenly a bad player, but he needs to step up his game. Lining up against Ridley today will be a great test and one I wouldn't expect him to pass easily.

Takeaway Tuesday: CB Awuzie Hasn't Met Expectations in 2018

Wish #3: Score 28+ Points

The Cowboys have the huge advantage of going against a defense that ranks 29th in scoring defense. They did a nice job on Philadelphia last week and should continue to build on that success to do something they haven't done much this year: score a lot of points.

Scott Linehan's unit needs to do a better, more consistent, job. They've shown us they're capable of scoring, but they've also shown us their remarkable ability to seemingly forget how to do so. Blame it on play-calling, QB play, poor offensive line or whatever you prefer, it's a flawed unit.

They need to capitalize versus a poor defense like the Falcons' to find a steady rhythm.

Wish #4: Dak Makes This Falcons' Game a Turning Point

Last year, when Dak Prescott was sacked six times in Atlanta (five times by Adrian Clayborn) something changed for the Cowboys' young quarterback. Missing RB Ezekiel Elliott and LT Tyron Smith that day, Prescott had one of the worse days in his career. It was a turning point for him as a QB and the public eye.

Now he has a chance at redemption. A shot at putting the Cowboys at .500 and reviving playoff hopes, as unlikely as it sounds.

I wish that's the case for the Cowboys young passer in Atlanta. As flawed as he is, I'm a fan of his. The kid leaves it all on the field.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Wishlist: Snap Julio Jones’ Hot Streak" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

Final Thoughts on Cowboys Matchup with the Atlanta Falcons

John Williams

Published

on

Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Offense, Coaches Have a Ways to Go Still

This week, like every week for the rest of the 2018 NFL season, is a must-win game for the Dallas Cowboys. Getting ready to face an Atlanta Falcons team that took the heart and soul of the Cowboys offense in last year's matchup, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys have a lot to prove as they attempt to get back to the .500 mark for the fourth time this season.

It feels like the Philadelphia game was forever ago. Now that it's finally game day, here are some final thoughts on the Cowboys matchup with the Atlanta Falcons.

Amari Cooper Breaks Century Mark

Amari Cooper has proven his worth in his first two games since coming over to the Dallas Cowboys from the Oakland Raiders. He's had 11 catches in the first two weeks and has made an instant rapport with Quarterback Dak Prescott. I believe they take another step forward this week and Amari Cooper goes for 100 yards in just his third game with America's Team.

Cooper had 75 yards against the Eagles and 58 against the Titans. He's trending toward the 100 yard mark. If Prescott and Cooper could have connected on just one of the deep shots they missed on, Cooper goes for 100 last week. This week, Dak and Coop get another weak defense.

The Atlanta Falcons pass defense is one of the worst in the NFL. They have the sixth highest net yards per attempt number in the NFL and the sixth most yards allowed. They've also allowed the fourth most passing touchdowns; 21.

Since the Atlanta Falcons can score and move the ball with their passing attack, the Cowboys will have to throw to win this game.

Can Xavier Su'a Filo Continue to be an X-Factor

The Cowboys offensive line had their best game of the season on the ground on Sunday as they gashed the Philadelphia Eagles -- who were second in rushing heading into the game -- for 171 rushing yards. They did it by going right at the Eagles defense and were most successful when they used Su'a-Filo to get to the next level of the defense.

There's been a lot of talk about whether Su'a-Filo should continue to start when Connor Williams comes back and for me, it depends. Williams has had some problems with the strength that defensive tackles bring on the inside, but he's been getting better too.

If Su'a-Filo and the Cowboys offensive line plays well during this stretch that Williams is healing, then it would be a shock to see the rookie second round pick reinserted into the starting lineup.

Check out this week's film review on Xavier Su'a-Filo.

Dominant Defensive Duo

Jaylon Smith and DeMarcus Lawrence has been exceptional this season. Jaylon Smith looks to be healthy and progressing to be what the NFL thought he would be coming out of college. A transcendant middle linebacker.

DeMarcus Lawrence sack numbers may not be as high as they were this time last season, but he continues to show that he's a dominant player on both pass and rushing downs.

Cowboys Stats & Graphics on Twitter

Cowboys playmaking EPA, now with snap counts! The most efficient playmakers have been Jaylon Smith, DeMarcus Lawrence, Sean Lee, Daniel Ross and Jourdan Lewis. "Playmaking EPA" = total EPA on failed plays forced through sacks, QB hits, turnovers, passes deflected, tackles, etc.

As you can see from our friend Daniel Houston, who manages Cowboys Stats and Graphics on Twitter points out, Smith and Lee have been the best playmakers on the team on a per snap basis. By just about every measure out there, those two have been worthy of Pro Bowl and perhaps All-Pro selections.

Playing for his Life

Chidobe Awuzie has been struggling this season. And that's stating it kindly to the second-year corner back. He's had decent positioning for much of the year, typically being right where he's supposed to be, but he's not making any plays of the football, which is something he was known for coming out of college.

There's something not quite right with his game this season as he's become the focal point for opposing passing attacks and for good reason. He can't stop anyone.

Well, this is the week to turn all of that around. The Dallas Cowboys need him to have a big week this week.

Ailing Interior

As humans, we know that when our interior isn't right, it doesn't matter what else we have going on on the outside, we don't function as well. The same is true for defense. If your interior isn't right, your defense isn't right. The Dallas Cowboys defensive interior is struggling with some health issues.

On the final injury report of the week, Defensive Tackles David Irving and Daniel Ross have already been ruled out,  Antwaun Woods is doubtful, and Maliek Collins is questionable. If for some reason Maliek Collins isn't able to go, then it's probable that the team will go into the game without a functional one-technique defensive tackle. Even with Collins in the lineup, being down Woods and Ross means the Cowboys have to run Collins at 1T and Tyrone Crawford is your primary 3T defensive tackle.

With Crawford having to play inside this week it means a three-man rotation at defensive end of DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, and Dorance Armstrong. They should be alright on the outside, but Crawford is one of their best run defending defensive ends. He's good on the inside, but you want to save him for your passing situations.

Prediction

This is one of those games that I'm having a difficult time getting a read on. The Cowboys haven't been good on the road this season until last week at Philadelphia, one of the more difficult places to play in the NFL. In that game, they finally got their offense clicking through the air and on the ground.

This week looks like an opportunity for the Cowboys to continue to prove themselves offensively against an average to below average opponent.

On the defensive side of the ball, they're going to have their hands full with an Atlanta Falcons offense that is averaging more than 30 points a game at home and has one of the best receivers in the NFL in Julio Jones.

I think this is going to be a close game where both teams get into 20's in point scored and it comes down to who plays better offensively at the end.

My heart leans Cowboys, but my gut leans Falcons. So it should be a 20-20 tie. Really though, I'm going with the...

Cowboys 24-20. 

Who you got?



Continue Reading

Game Notes

Cowboys, Falcons Week 11 Injury Report

Jess Haynie

Published

on

Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons are both 4-5 and playing to keep their seasons alive. It's a mutual must-win game, and both will have to try to win it without some key players. Once again, we look at this week's injury reports.

Let's begin with your Cowboys, whose report is getting longer as the season wears on:

Dallas Cowboys

  • WR Tavon Austin (groin) - OUT
  • DE Taco Charlton (shoulder) - OUT
  • DT David Irving (ankle) - OUT
  • DT Daniel Ross (calf) - OUT
  • LB Sean Lee (hamstring) - OUT
  • DT Antwaun Woods (concussion) - Doubtful
  • G Zack Martin (knee) - Questionable
  • G Connor Williams (knee) - Questionable
  • DT Maliek Collins (knee) - Questionable
  • LB Joe Thomas (foot) - Questionable

The biggest news is the guy who won't miss tomorrow's game; All-Pro guard Zack Martin is expected to play despite his knee injury from last Sunday night. The Cowboys, already dealing with Travis Frederick's absence and now health issues at left guard, could ill afford to go without Martin in such a pivotal game.

Even if he was healthy, rookie Connor Williams might have a hard time getting in the game. Backup Xavier Su'a-Filo looked like an experienced former second-round pick last week, and he may be the better player for now.

The defensive line has been hit hard, particularly in the middle. With Irving and Ross out, Woods doubtful, and Collins uncertain, Dallas called up DT Christian Ringo from the practice squad. They will also be without Taco Charlton, who could play inside some. Veteran Caraun Reid will be seeing a lot of playing time.

Sean Lee's ongoing absence has become almost an afterthought now with the stellar play of Leighton Vander Esch. We've seen in the past when missing Lee meant disaster on defense, but Dallas' first-round rookie has helped mitigate the damage.

Atlanta Falcons

  • LB Deion Jones (foot) - OUT

It's a short list for Atlanta, but the one name on it is a big one. Arguably the team's best defensive player, Deion Jones will miss the game with a foot injury.

The Falcons' injury issues have been more in players suffering season-ending injuries. Both starting guards, Andy Levitre and Brandon Fusco, are on injured reserve. Star running back Devonta Freeman is also there, and those losses help explain Atlanta's 30th-ranked rushing offense.

Both starting safeties are also on IR; Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal. Atlanta has one of the league's worst passing defense this year without them, ranking 30th in yards allowed and 28th in opponent passer rating.

So yes, the Falcons injury report compared to the Cowboys' may raise some eyebrows. But in terms of who has most of their key guys, Dallas is arguably still better off.



Continue Reading



Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here

Trending