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Dalton Schultz’s Big Day Helps Cowboys Shock the Falcons

, entering his third season with the in 2020, went into without a clear role or identity with the team. But a little over a month later, he is now the starter and just had a huge performance to help Dallas pull off their stunning comeback victory over the yesterday.

Schultz was the next man up after was lost for the season with an ACL last week. Last week against the Rams, Dalton was targeted only four times and produced one catch for 11 yards.

Many were clamoring for the Cowboys to make a move at tight end this week. Whether it was signing veteran like Delanie Walker or Charles Clay, moving WR to the TE position, or even trading for a familiar face like (Titans), the idea of just riding with Schultz wasn't satisfying.

But even with the limited information we got out of training camp in 2020, and especially with the absence of games to evaluate, Dalton was still a guy that we heard good things about. He did enough in camp to take a firm hold of the second spot on the TE even after Dallas signed veteran , who won a as 's backup in Kansas City.

Yesterday, starting his first game as the Cowboys number-one TE, Schultz had nine catches for 88 yards and a touchdown. It not only helped Dallas mount their big comeback over Atlanta but also went in the books as one of the biggest productions days by a Cowboys tight end in recent .

didn't have a single game last year with as many catches or yards as Dalton Schultz put up yesterday. In fact, you'd have to go back to Week 2 of the for Witten's last statistical performance that bested Schultz (10 rec, 97 yds, 1 TD vs Denver).

Even if you combine Witten and Blake Jarwin's stats from 2019 you will only find a couple of games where they collectively put together stats that rivaled what Schultz did on Sunday.

Granted, it was only one game. This certainly isn't any kind of assertion about the kind of player Schultz is now or will ever be compared to a legend like Witten.

Dalton Schultz
Dallas Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

But with his performance yesterday, Dalton Schultz gave the Cowboys a glimpse of potential like Blake Jarwin did in the 2018 finale. If it hadn't been for Witten's surprising return last year from , Jarwin was likely going to be handed the starting TE job in 2019 just like he was this season.

Now Dalton has all of 2020, with a contract year coming up in 2021, to prove what he might offer the Cowboys as a long-term option. And if yesterday's game was any indication, Schultz could be in for a career-changing season.

Remember, this was a guy who we'd heard almost nothing from since being selected in the 4th Round of the . After just 12 catches in his rookie year, Schultz was buried in 2019 under Witten and Jarwin and only had a single catch for six yards.

Yesterday gave Dalton his first career touchdown in the . And with opposing defenses having to focus on stopping , , , , and perhaps even when the Cowboys get near the endzone, Schultz is going to get plenty of favorable matchups and opportunities to score.

Of course, and as was already admitted, yesterday may have just been an anomaly. Dalton may never have another game close to this one, and perhaps he doesn't even see that fourth season of his rookie contract. This can still go in a very different direction; just another one-game wonder who fantasy owners will soon be waiving as quickly as they rushed to add him.

But if you believed in Blake Jarwin this year based on his fairly small sample size then Schultz just made a big leap towards providing similar evidence. And unlike what Jarwin has contended with the last few years in Witten and Swaim, there's no threat of Blake Bell horning in.

You can stop looking up tight ends and crafting other creative ideas. For the rest of 2020 at least, the starting TE job in Dallas just became Dalton Schultz's to lose.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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