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Could TE Dalton Schultz Be Cowboys Biggest Surprise In 2018?

The of long time legend has left a lot of uncertainty around the 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 , 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 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 . While is expected to be the starter, fan favorite 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 , 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 .

Kevin Brady
Kevin Brady
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 have been with ITS since 2016.

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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.


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


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.


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.


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?


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.


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


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!


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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