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Sean’s Scout: TE Dalton Schultz Fits Cowboys Need as Willing Blocker

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: TE Dalton Schultz Fits Cowboys Need as Willing Blocker

When news of Jason Witten's retirement stunned the NFL world -- including those inside The Star -- entering day two of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cowboys were seemingly put in position to fill yet another need with the 50th and 81st overall picks.

Sticking to their board and letting the draft come to them, the Cowboys drafted starting Left Guard Connor Williams and Wide Receiver Michael Gallup in the second and third rounds instead. A vote of confidence in current tight ends Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin, the team did add Stanford's Dalton Schultz the following day at 137th overall.

After firing up the film of Stanford's pro-style offense, here is my full scouting report on the Cowboys newest Tight End Dalton Schultz.

Strengths

Schultz2

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The best thing Dalton Schultz can do to stand out in Dallas is continue playing as a tenacious run blocker. This is easily the most noticeable part of Schultz's otherwise lackluster game.

With inline blocking experience, something the Cowboys will ask him to do much more of, Schultz plays with impressively powerful hands and a competitive drive to finish blocks. Every rep might not be pretty for the 6053 (6'5 3/8") 244-pound TE, but Schultz can be trusted as a get-in-the-way blocker with the awareness and timing to make this technique work.

Schultz1

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Dalton Schultz looks for work as a blocker, never going a play without throwing his lean but compact frame around to make his presence felt. This is a player who understands his own physical limitations and makes up for them with upper body power and leverage.

As a receiver, Schultz was limited to just 55 career catches at Stanford. When targeted in traffic though, Schultz will hang onto the ball with soft hands and isn't afraid of contact after the catch. Schultz finds the sticks on critical down and distances, falling forward whenever needed to move the chains.

Weaknesses

For most teams, Dalton Schultz's limitations as a receiver would be a considerable weakness given how tight ends are utilized in the NFL now. The Cowboys will get plenty of value out of Schultz as a blocker, although this isn't to say he comes without difficulties in this facet of the game.

Relying on his initial contact and hand strength to set up blocks, Schultz will get overpowered by defenders who catch him leaning up the field. Schultz is easily steered at the point of attack against rush moves, lacking the thick base to re-anchor and sustain.

As a route runner, Schultz is entirely raw. Testing as a slightly better athlete than physical specimen, Schultz is simply not beating coverage with any deception or sharpness to his movement. It takes a while for Schultz to get going up the field, where running straight down the middle was typically the only way he uncovered, once the ball is out of his QB's hands.

Summary

As mentioned, the Cowboys like what they have in Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin as athletic options to develop at tight end. My expectations for both players is that they'll make the most of their opportunity to shine, tempering initial expectations for Dalton Schultz in Dallas.

Schultz can certainly help the Cowboys in multiple tight end packages, and he's worth the long-term project as a player ahead of the curve with pro-style experience.

Whether it be Ezekiel Elliott, Tavon Austin, or Bo Scarbrough escaping around the corner this preseason, look for Dalton Schultz to land the sealing block.

Schultz3

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The Cowboys will never be able to replace Jason Witten, but continuing to add players in his competitive image is the best they can do -- addressing TE in the fourth round of this year's draft with Dalton Schultz.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: TE Dalton Schultz Fits Cowboys Need as Willing Blocker" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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Star Blog

DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line

Kevin Brady

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DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line

The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.

The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.

After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.

So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.

What exactly is that role, though?

I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.

Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.

Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.

If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.

This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.



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New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF

Kevin Brady

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New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF

On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.

Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.

Randall Cobb on Twitter

Randall Cobb on Twitter

https://t.co/9H9xfApFqe

In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.

This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

https://twitter.com/tae15adams/status/1108158105957920770

RJ Ochoa on Twitter

Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb

Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.



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Star Blog

Malik McDowell Is Well Worth The Risk For The Dallas Cowboys

Kevin Brady

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Malik McDowell, Michigan State

The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly brining defensive lineman Malik McDowell into The Star this week for a visit, as they decide whether or not to potentially sign him for the 2019 season.

McDowell is a former second round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, who fell to day two because of what scouts call "off the field" or "character" concerns. McDowell did not last long with Seahawks, as he was released in 2017 following an ATV accident in which he reportedly suffered "extensive brain and eye trauma" according to Charles Robinson.

None of us know much about who Malik McDowell is as a person, or what concerns their really should be with his health. But what I do know is that on tape at Michigan State, McDowell was a top 5-10 player in the 2017 draft class. He was a stud, and has the traits to continue to be a stud in the NFL.

2017 NFL Draft: Scouting Michigan State DL Malik McDowell - Slant Sports

The 2017 NFL Draft is chock full of talented, athletic, and productive defensive linemen. While most of the draft pundits have focused on EDGE rushers thus far, the defensive tackle class also possesses some of this year's top NFL prospects. Arguably the best of those defensive tackles is Michigan State's Malik McDowell.

Back in 2017 I wrote a full scouting report on McDowell, detailing why he earned such a high grade on my board. McDowell is a versatile linemen who is explosive off the ball, powerful and rangy against the run, and a skilled pass rusher who plays with a high motor. What more could you really ask for?

"McDowell is a patient pass rusher at times, setting up the blocker how he likes and then beating them with ease. McDowell’s ability to swipe hands off helps him greatly, but his quick swim is his most effective pass rush move.

On this play he uses that swim to perfection, forcing the center to power down to the right before swimming back to the other side."

nfldraft malik mcdowell 3

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When the Spartans went to a three man pass rushing front, McDowell moved to the EDGE often and made plays with his quick, active hands and impressive swim move. He was much more impressive on the interior, however, and could be a direct replacement for David Irving as an explosive and powerful 3-technique for the Cowboys.

nfldraft malik mcdowell 4

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I love that the Cowboys are bringing McDowell in for a free agent visit. His price will likely be low, as he is yet to play in an NFL game over the last two years, but his ceiling remains very high if he is healthy. It's rare for a player with his college production, natural ability, and measurables to completely fail in the NFL.

Maybe all McDowell needs is a second chance to get his head right and prove that he belongs in the league. Maybe he flames out quickly and can't get on the field due to "off the field" stuff. Or, maybe he simply isn't healthy enough to contribute as an NFL player. Regardless, for the price he'll likely command, McDowell is well worth the risk if the Cowboys are willing to take it.



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