The Dallas Cowboys have over 20 free agents entering the offseason and the decisions they will have to make will be tough. Defensive End Randy Gregory, Safety Jayron Kearse, and Wide Receiver Michael Gallup sit atop the priority list. However, Tight End Dalton Schultz has performed well for two consecutive seasons and should be an important piece for the Cowboys to bring back in 2022.
When Blake Jarwin suffered a torn ACL in the 2020 season opener, Schultz stepped into his role beautifully and immediately developed chemistry with Quarterback Dak Prescott. In the three full games after Jarwin went down and before Prescott's season-ending ankle injury, Schultz caught 17 of his 24 targets from Prescott for 208 yards and two touchdowns.
Despite Prescott missing 11 games, Schultz continued to be productive. He finished with 63 receptions for 615 yards and four touchdowns and became only the fifth tight end in Cowboys history to register at least 50 receptions. Mind you, he did this by playing most of the season with several backup quarterbacks.
Schultz would prove that his production wasn't a fluke in 2021. The 25-year old finished second on the Cowboys in receptions (78), third in yards (808), tied for first in touchdowns (8). Prescott completed 77.5% of his throws to Schultz in the 16 games he played in this season so that chemistry they built in 2020 only got better.
Not only should the Cowboys do whatever it takes to keep Schultz because of his production they should do so due to the uncertainty at the tight end position. Jarwin is a good player when healthy, but that's the thing, he's on the injury report too much to have total confidence in him at TE1. Sean McKeon has some promise but injuries this season kept him from showing what he can do. Jeremy Sprinkle is a good blocker at tight end but he's not anywhere near Schultz as a pass-catcher.
Schultz will certainly have his share of suitors when free agency hits in March. He could have priced himself out of Dallas with how well he's played, but the Cowboys would be smart to do everything they can to keep him and solidify the tight end spot for the foreseeable future.