Dalton Schultz

Cowboys, Dalton Schultz Remain Far Apart On Extension

The likelihood Dalton Schultz finalizes a long-term deal with the Cowboys before July 15 continues to diminish. Despite Schultz showing for minicamp and extension talks picking up at that point, progress has proven elusive.

Schultz and the Cowboys are still far apart on terms, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. Although the July deadline spurs changes in negotiations with tagged players, nothing about the Schultz talks this offseason has indicated the sides are making substantial progress.

Dallas’ top tight end displayed his dissatisfaction with the pace of these talks during OTAs, when he stopped showing up after initially reporting to the team’s facility for the voluntary workouts. The 25-year-old pass catcher returned for minicamp, indicating some potential improvement on this front. But three weeks away from the deadline, an impasse persists.

Cuffing Schultz with the tag prevented him from factoring his age-26 season into a lucrative free agency deal, and while a $10.9MM 2022 salary represents a significant raise, Schultz is starting at the annual franchise-player plight: the lack of long-term security. A second Schultz tag would cost $13.1MM — a figure still below David Njoku‘s new AAV ($14.2MM), which has likely affected the Cowboys’ talks with their tight end. That may point to the team waiting, though the team almost certainly could have extended Schultz at a lower cost during his 2021 contract year. The Cowboys opted to wait on extensions with 2021 contract-year players, tabling those talks to 2022.

Blake Jarwin suffered multiple major injuries after signing his extension — a lower-cost accord ahead of his fourth season — but collected some guaranteed money prior to those setbacks. Schultz has proven far more as a weapon, totaling 808 receiving yards — the most by a Cowboy tight end since Jason Witten‘s 851 in 2013 — last season. Dak Prescott has stumped for Schultz this offseason, and the veteran passer’s lengthy talks show what can change after a tagged season. Dallas’ three-offseason negotiations with its quarterback led to a monster extension in 2021 (four years, $160MM), a year after Dak was ready to accept a deal at a lower AAV in the summer of 2020. Negotiations for a tight end obviously do not carry the same stakes, but the Cowboys are approaching the Prescott point on the Schultz timeline.

Prescott received a four-year deal, but Gehlken adds length might be an issue in the Schultz talks as well. The Cowboys prefer longer-term extensions, as they have done with Tyron Smith (an extreme example), Zack Martin, Ezekiel Elliott and others. Schultz agreeing to a five-plus-year extension would tie him to the Cowboys into his 30s, potentially limiting his chances of cashing in again.

Dalton Schultz Likely To Play 2022 Season On Franchise Tag?

Although contract talks between the Cowboys and Dalton Schultz picked up when he returned to the team’s facility for minicamp, the veteran tight end has not been rumored to be near a deal.

Negotiations often gain steam just ahead of the July deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions, but the Cowboys may be content with a rental year with Schultz. The fifth-year tight end is likely to play the season on the tag, Todd Archer of ESPN.com notes.

Frustrations with extension talks during OTAs, Schultz made a point to let the team know by skipping the final set of voluntary offseason work. Nothing leading up to minicamp suggested the sides were close on terms.

The Cowboys seeing if a former fourth-round pick can duplicate the kind of season he had in 2021 (78 receptions, 808 yards, eight touchdowns) makes sense, especially given the potential price hike connected to David Njoku‘s $14.2MM-per-year Browns extension. Schultz’s 2021 slate was better than any of Njoku’s seasons, and the Cowboys are keeping their top tight end from cashing in ahead of his age-26 season. Schultz has signed his franchise tender and will not exactly go under-compensated in 2022, being tied to a $10.9MM tag salary.

A tagged season would bring a prime opportunity for Schultz, who may see his place in Dallas’ passing-game hierarchy rise in prominence. The Amari Cooper trade bumped up CeeDee Lamb to the clear-cut No. 1 receiver role. After Lamb, a host of secondary options are present. But former 1,000-yard receiver Michael Gallup is coming off a late-season ACL tear, one expected to sideline him into the upcoming campaign. That said, Gallup might not need to begin the season on the PUP list, Archer adds. Even if Gallup regains form fairly early this year, Schultz will be a key player for the Cowboys.

Dallas’ previous tight end extension — a four-year, $22MM extension for Blake Jarwin — did not work out, after the then-starter’s injury issues changed his career trajectory. Schultz stepped in to bail out the franchise, producing on a Day 3 rookie salary. With a second tag costing 120% of Schultz’s 2022 salary, Jarwin’s successor would have a better chance to reach free agency next year. Mike Gesicki could join Schultz in that boat, if the Dolphins do not extend him by July 15. But if one of these two is extended by then, the other would have a good chance at being the top tight end available next year.

Cowboys, Dalton Schultz Resume Talks; TE Reports To Minicamp

A month remains until the deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions. A few players — Chris Godwin, Cam Robinson, Davante Adams, David Njoku — have already inked long-term deals after being tagged. Njoku’s Browns extension pertains to two other members of the 2022 tag group.

While not much has developed on the Mike Gesicki-Dolphins front, the Cowboys’ tagged tight end has voiced his displeasure with his current situation this offseason. Dalton Schultz attended some Cowboys OTA sessions but skipped others, making it known his contract was at the root of the absences. The Cowboys may have gotten the message.

Talks between the Cowboys and their fifth-year tight end have picked up recently, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets, noting Schultz reported to Dallas’ minicamp Tuesday. It is not known how close the Cowboys and Schultz are on a long-term deal, as they were far apart recently. But the parties have time. Nearly every year, negotiations seemingly headed nowhere produce a deal ahead of the July 15 deadline.

Njoku’s $14.2MM-per-year pact has undoubtedly generated attention from tight ends around the league, though it directly affects Schultz and Gesicki. Both are attached to the $10.91MM tight end tag price. Each has outproduced Njoku’s best Browns season, yardage-wise. A fourth-round pick in 2018, the soon-to-be 26-year-old Schultz was not groomed to be Dallas’ long-term tight end starter the way Njoku was in Cleveland. But Blake Jarwin‘s injury trouble opened the door for the Stanford product, who has responded with 1,423 yards and 12 touchdown catches over the past two seasons.

The Cowboys picked up $10MM in cap space on June 2, receiving the belated funding from their March La’el Collins cut. As a result, Dallas’ $22.5MM in cap room sits fourth in the NFL. Schultz collecting an eight-figure paycheck represents a nice bonus for a former Day 3 pick who made $2.2MM last season. It would be understandable if the Cowboys are skittish about giving Schultz an extension that tops Njoku’s, while it also makes sense for the 6-foot-5 pass catcher — after Amari Cooper‘s exit and ahead of a season in which Michael Gallup will not be 100% at the outset — to lobby for a top-five deal at the position. Schultz could also enhance his value for 2023 with a big season, as he again will be a key Dak Prescott target, if he ends up playing on the tag. Albeit in a much higher-profile situation, this strategy worked for Prescott two years ago.

Cowboys’ Dalton Schultz Frustrated By Contract Negotiations

After showing up for the previous round of Cowboys OTAs, Dalton Schultz intends to skip this week’s conclusion of the team’s voluntary offseason program. The extension talks are not proceeding to the franchise-tagged tight end’s liking, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

The tight end position has shifted into focus this offseason, this coming as wide receivers’ salaries are skyrocketing. David Njoku‘s $14.2MM-per-year Browns extension will affect the other two tagged tight ends — Schultz and Miami’s Mike Gesicki — and Dallas’ talks with Schultz had not exactly oozed progress entering the summer.

[RELATED: Schultz Seeking Long-Term Stay With Cowboys]

The Cowboys gave Blake Jarwin a four-year, $22MM deal in 2020 — when the team let the unretired Jason Witten walk in free agency — but Jarwin’s injury trouble changed the team’s plans again at the position. Schultz ended up becoming the team’s true Witten heir apparent. He stepped in to start 14 games in place of Jarwin in 2020, hauling in 63 passes for 615 yards and four touchdowns. Schultz’s 2021 encore — 78 receptions, 808 yards, eight TDs — led to the Cowboys slapping the $10.9MM tag on him.

Schultz, 25, has already signed his franchise tender. That locks him into the $10.9MM salary while also allowing the Cowboys to fine him for missing minicamp later this month. Given the sizable salary raise Schultz booked in March, it would seem a minicamp absence would be a legitimate course of action. Waging a training camp holdout is a costlier call, but there will be a resolution by that time.

No Schultz extension by July 15 ensures he plays a season on the tag. The Cowboys have seen this scenario play out recently, on a much higher-profile level, when Dak Prescott failed to come to terms on a deal before the 2020 tag deadline. Schultz’s $10.9MM cap figure would not rival Prescott’s 2020 price, and the team may be keen to rent Schultz for a season before determining if a big-ticket tight end deal is worthwhile.

Dallas has committed to Michael Gallup as its No. 2 wide receiver this year, via an $11.5MM-AAV deal in March, and has CeeDee Lamb on his rookie contract. The team can put off a Lamb extension until 2024, if necessary, due to the fifth-year option. The Cowboys have $22MM-plus in cap space, with their La’el Collins cut generating post-June 1 funding, but may be skittish on paying Schultz top-five tight end money. Njoku became the NFL’s fourth-highest-paid tight end, but Schultz’s 2021 showing is statistically superior to any of Njoku’s five seasons. This will almost certainly be an issue for the Cowboys and Dolphins, who have seen Gesicki top Njoku’s best work twice, and create intrigue in other tight end negotiations — likely Darren Waller‘s as well — in the near future.

Cowboys, TE Dalton Schultz Not Close To Long-Term Deal

The notable extension given from the Browns to David Njoku is likely to have an impact on the tight end market going forward. That makes Dalton Schultz of the Cowboys a name to watch over the coming weeks. 

[RELATED: Browns, Njoku Finalize Four-Year Extension]

Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News details the circumstances surrounding the 25-year-old with respect to a lucrative contract. After two seasons of minimal production, Schultz has become a trusted target for quarterback Dak Prescottand one of the top young players at the position. In 2021, he continued his career ascension with 78 receptions, 808 yards and eight touchdowns.

Those numbers made him an easy choice to receive the franchise tag in March. If he plays on the one-year deal, he will earn $10.9MM; while that would rank him in the top-10 in the league in terms of yearly compensation, the Cowboys have stated their intention of committing to him long-term. Schultz himself has reciprocated that sentiment, leaving many to believe that the tag will serve as simply a placeholder for a lengthy extension.

However, Watkins notes that there doesn’t seem to be the same level of urgency present on the team’s side regarding a new deal, compared to other notable ones signed by the likes of DeMarcus Lawrence and Prescott in years past. While he adds that “it’s assumed talks will intensify” as the July 15 deadline draws nearer, that news signals that a contract placing Schultz closer to the top of the TE market isn’t around the corner at this point.

“I let my agent handle all that business and right now I’m just focused on OTAs” the former fourth-rounder said last week. There doesn’t appear to be any tension between the two parties on the subject of a second contract, but there is apparently much to be done if they are to finalize one before the deadline.

Cowboys’ Dalton Schultz Seeking Long-Term Deal

A number of high-profile tight ends were franchise tagged this offseason, including Dalton Schultz of the Cowboys. If he has his way, the 25-year-old will be staying in Dallas for more than just the 2022 season. 

“This is the place I want to be” Schultz said (Twitter link via ESPN’s Todd Archer). He made clear to Archer his desire to stay with the Cowboys long-term. Just as significant is the fact that he “believes that’s the team’s goal” as well.

By signing the franchise tender, Schultz is scheduled to make $10.93MM this season. That would place him – along with David Njoku and Mike Gesicki, the other TEs to be tagged – in the top-10 with respect to compensation at the position. The team could find money to make him a key piece of their offense for the foreseeable future in part because of the departures of Amari Cooper and Randy Gregory last month.

A fourth-round pick in 2018, Schultz has emerged as one of Dak Prescott‘s favorite targets over the past two seasons. Since the start of the 2020 campaign, he has totalled 141 catches for 1,423 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the expected absence of Blake Jarwin, along with the receiver void created by trading away Cooper, the Stanford alum could take on an even larger workload in 2022.

The two sides have until mid-July to agree on a new deal; failing that, Schultz will look to take his production a step further as the Cowboys try to rebound from last year’s early playoff exit.

Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz Signs Franchise Tender

Dalton Schultz is officially locked in for next season. The Cowboys tight end has officially signed his franchise tender, per Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter).

[RELATED: Cowboys Tag Dalton Schultz]

Schultz is now attached to a fully guaranteed $10.93MM for 2022, but the player and the Cowboys could rip up those numbers if they agree to a new long-term pact. The two sides had been working on an extension prior to the franchise tag deadline, and after the Cowboys slapped the tag on Schultz, there was still “strong interest” from both team and player to get an extension done.

In the last two seasons, Schultz has emerged as one of quarterback Dak Prescott‘s favorite and most dependable targets. He had a career year in 2021, posting 78 catches for 808 yards and eight touchdowns.

A Schultz extension would likely lower the tight end’s 2021 cap hit. That extra cash could be helpful as the Cowboys make runs at a number of notable free agents. Just in the past two days, the organization has been connected to Jason Pierre-Paul and Za’Darius Smith.

Cowboys Re-Sign WR Michael Gallup

The Cowboys will avoid letting wide receiver Michael Gallup hit the free agent market after to a five-year, $57.5MM deal, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (on Twitter). After trading away Amari Cooper earlier this week, this moves cements that Dallas’s other three top pass catchers will be returning for the 2022 NFL season.

Gallup, 26, will collect $23MM in guarantees, with Pelissero noting this contract will max out at $62.5MM. A nice payday for Cooper’s former sidekick, whom the Cowboys have chosen over their four-year WR1.

A third-round pick out of Colorado State in 2018, Gallup broke out for 1,107 yards in 2019 alongside Cooper. The arrival of CeeDee Lamb in 2020 limited his production to a still impressive 843 yards as a number three receiver. Even in an injury-plagued 2021 season, Gallup enjoyed glimpses of success.

This news has been in the works for a while now with estimates that the Cowboys were aiming for a five-year pact with an annual average value around $10MM, but that Gallup’s camp may possibly having been pushing for a shorter commitment. Either the rumors about Gallup’s camp have been proven untrue or an annual average value of nearly $12MM was too enticing to turn down.

Regardless, the long-term, decently priced deal is a strong commitment to Gallup after he only played in nine games of his contract year due to a Week 1 calf injury and a season-ending ACL tear in Week 16. The contract seems to indicate that the Cowboys are confident in the medical information they are receiving on Gallup’s recovery.

With decisions made on Cooper and Gallup, and the franchise tag placed on Dalton Schultz, Dallas can focus its attention on the litany of other impact players set to hit the free agent market this week like Randy Gregory, Connor Williams, Leighton Vander Esch and Cedrick Wilson.

Cardinals, TE Zach Ertz Closing In On Deal

After acquiring tight end Zach Ertz in a trade with the Eagles in mid-October of last year, the Cardinals are finalizing a new multi-year deal for the nine-year veteran, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The three-year deal is set to keep the 31-year-old among the top-10 highest-paid tight ends in the NFL. 

Ertz is a three-time Pro Bowler who set the NFL-record for single-season receptions for a tight end in 2018 with 116 catches, which trailed only Saints’ receiver Michael Thomas for the league lead among all pass-catchers. Ertz was consistently productive in Philadelphia, recording five-straight seasons with at least 800 receiving yards.

After taking a back seat role to the Eagles’ younger tight end Dallas Goedert, the Cardinals made the move to acquire Ertz and watched him thrive in the new system. Ertz’s 11 games in Arizona in 2021 showed far more production than the 11 games he played in Philadelphia the year prior. With wide receivers Christian Kirk and A.J. Green set to hit the free agent market this week, locking down their tight end was a must.

The three-year deal will be worth $31.65MM with a guaranteed amount of $17.5MM. The annual average value of $10.55MM ranks 10th among NFL tight ends, just below David Njoku, Mike Gesicki, and Dalton Schultz, who got franchise tagged for $10.93MM. With this deal Ertz is now off the crowded tight end market, along with the three who were tagged. Remaining options for those looking for tight ends are C.J. Uzomah, Robert Tonyan, Evan Engram, and Will Dissly.

Cowboys Tag Dalton Schultz

The third and final tight end thought to be receiving the franchise tag this offseason has indeed been franchised. Dalton Schultz will be staying in Dallas for at least one more campaign (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport).

Not long before today’s deadline, the 25-year-old was seen as one of the team’s top tag candidates – the other being defensive end Randy Gregory. Not surprisingly, it is the former being franchised at a cost of $10.93MM. In the last two seasons, Schultz has emerged as one of quarterback Dak Prescott‘s favorite and most dependable targets. He had a career year in 2021, posting 78 catches for 808 yards and eight touchdowns.

Rapoport’s colleague Mike Garafolo adds that the Cowboys have been eyeing a long-term deal with the former fourth rounder, and were hopeful it could have gotten done before today’s tag deadline (Twitter link). Instead, the team will at least tempoariliy work with a figure just under $11MM for one of the few known commodities in their pass-catching corps, given the expected release of Amari Cooper and the ongoing talks with Michael GallupMichael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News tweets that there is still “strong interest” from both team and player to get an extension done, which would likely lower is 2021 cap hit.

As for Gregory, free agency has now become all-but guaranteed. However, the Cowboys have made it clear they wish to retain the edge rusher, given the highly productive trio he formed in 2021 alongside DeMarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons. In any event, the team’s passing attack will be retaining one of its most important pieces.