Dalton Schultz is a cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys. He was drafted in the sixth-round, but has since quietly become one of the mainstays on defense, and now he’s got his sights set on becoming even more than that
Dalton Schultz is Quietly Becoming a Star for the Dallas Cowboys. The 22-year-old tight end had a breakout year in 2018, and he has high hopes for his future with the team.
The Dallas Cowboys must be feeling like they’ve found their stride now that they’re 10-4 and have won three consecutive games. They’re coming off a 21-6 victory against the New York Giants on the road. The NFC East playoffs, as well as the title of best club in the division, are just around the horizon. Without a question, the Cowboys have a talented team. Dallas has plenty of star power on both sides of the football field. A fourth-year tight end is quietly enjoying the finest season of his career in the midst of it all. Dalton Schultz is his name.
The Dallas Cowboys have made Dalton Schultz a top target.
The Dallas Cowboys’ Dalton Schultz #86 scores a touchdown in front of the New York Giants’ Logan Ryan #23 | Sarah Stier/Getty Images
From Dak Prescott to Ezekiel Elliott on offense to Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs on defense, Dallas has a lot of star power.
Because they’re the big names, Prescott and Elliott receive the spotlight on offense, but Dallas is stocked all over the field. Let’s not forget about CeeDee Lamb, a second-year wideout who is swiftly establishing himself as a top-tier talent, or Amari Cooper, who has been one of the finest wide outs in the NFL since his debut in 2015. Micael Gallup is as excellent as any No. 3 wide receiver in the NFL, and the Cowboys’ offensive line has huge names like Zach Martin and Tyron Smith (when healthy).
There’s no denying that Jerry Jones has assembled an all-star squad on paper. That’s why Dallas’ offensive troubles have been so maddening at times this season. Prescott’s shoulders are also under a lot of strain as a result of this. That, and his annual salary of $40 million.
Schultz is in the center of it all, and he’s on his way to becoming a celebrity. Schultz, a fourth-round pick out of Stanford in the 2018 draft, had a breakthrough season in 2020, catching 63 catches for 615 yards and four touchdowns.
If 2020 was the year of the breakthrough, this season has solidified the 6-foot-5, 244-pound tight end’s status.
Against the New York Giants, Schultz set a couple career highs.
It cannot be emphasized enough. Schultz topped all Dallas receivers in catches and yards in the victory against the Giants, while playing on a field with great offensive talent like Elliott, Lamb, and Cooper. He caught eight catches for 67 yards and a score, proving that defenders can’t concentrate on the outside receivers while allowing him to roam freely between the hashes.
This season, he and Prescott have formed a strong bond, and his clever route-running, large body, and soft hands make him a perfect safety blanket for the quarterback.
That was on display late in the third quarter when he caught a touchdown pass.
With little over two minutes left in the third quarter and a 15-6 lead, Dallas called a play-action pass, with Prescott’s first read being tight end Sean McKeon coming off a jet-motion into the right flat. Prescott’s second read, lineman Connor McGovern, who was eligible on the play and slipped toward the front of the end zone, was also covered up effectively by New York. That left the ever-patient Schultz, who took a long end-zone in-breaking route, gained significant separation, and utilized his speed and length to provide a perfect target for Prescott’s simple pass.
Schultz’s touchdown reception was his fifth of the season, a career high. This season, he has 651 receiving yards, which is a new career high, and he is three catches away from shattering his career high in receptions (63) as well.
For the Cowboys, Schultz is developing into an X-factor player.
The Dallas Cowboys’ Dalton Schultz #86 sprints after catching the ball during the first half against the New York Giants | Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
The great thing about the offense the Cowboys have developed is their ability to compel a defense to choose its poison.
If a defense chooses to play soft and deep against Lamb and Cooper, the Cowboys will gladly pound the rock with Elliott and Tony Pollard, who is developing into a solid 1B option for Dallas. Schultz now has access to the center and beneath zones of the field.
Dallas’ weapons, particularly Schultz, will have a field day if opponents elect to fill the box and play near to the line of scrimmage in try to stop the run.
When it came to the Giants’ attempts and failures against Dallas, Schultz understood the Cowboys had a chance to produce huge plays.
“We knew these guys played a lot of soft zone. According to the club website, Schultz said, “We’re going to have a lot of shell coverage.” “If teams want to play zone against us, just getting to the spots, being in the perfect location for Dak with the players we have on the outside.” When you have threats and weaponry on the edge like we have, the beneath stuff may always open up.”
Schultz understood going into the Giants game that he’d have a chance to make an impact because of how the Giants were expected to counter Dallas’ star power. To be honest, he’s had those chances all season, and he’s been taking advantage of them while enjoying the finest year of his career.
Schultz is demonstrating that he belongs on a club with a lot of big names and large money.
In 2022, he will be an unrestricted free agent.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provides contract information.
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Dalton Schultz is Quietly Becoming a Star for the Dallas Cowboys. The third-year tight end has had his best year yet. With only one catch in Week 1, he has caught 27 passes for 377 yards and four touchdowns so far this season. Reference: dalton schultz draft.
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