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Is It Worth Giving Dalton Schultz a Long-term Contract Extension?

The Cowboys TE will warrant a hefty raise this upcoming offseason. Boardroom projects what a Dalton Schultz extension could look like with the Cowboys.

As the clock expired to re-sign players this past offseason, the Dallas Cowboys assigned a $10.9 million franchise tag on tight end Dalton Schultz, which at that point, no long-term discussions were made and Schultz was willing to bet on himself. And now, it’s paying off.

“He represents everything we want in a Dallas Cowboy, on and off the field,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in July after no long-term deal was reached.

For the ‘Boys, it could be worse. Schultz is their most expensive free agent this offseason and he’s coming off a season in which he executed enough to become one of Dak Prescott’s top options. He was second on the team for receptions, targets, yards, and touchdowns — trailing only CeeDee Lamb. The bet paid off for both himself and the Cowboys.

All things considered, the tight end market boomed in 2022, and several teams are in need of a comfortable safety blanket. Schultz fits the description.

Of course, the Cowboys can tag him a second time and pay him roughly $11.3 million, but it might be time to give the 26-year-old his due as one of the highest-paid TEs in the league. Let’s take a look at what the market is calling for in a player of Schultz’s caliber.

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What is Dalton Schultz’s 2023 Market Value?

Spotrac determines its own market value estimates based on a player’s age, contract status, and statistical production. It doesn’t take into account wins, awards, or playoff performance, but it’s a useful measuring stick when comparing other players’ contracts.

Projecting the size of a Schultz contract extension
  • By Spotrac’s estimates, a Dalton Schultz contract is pegged at four years, $60,587,800. That would rank No. 2 among TEs in terms of total value, trailing only George Kittle.
  • His average annual salary is projected at $15,146,950, which would rank second among TEs in terms of average salary, trailing only Darren Waller.
Comparable TEs By Value
PLAYERYRSTOTALAAVAGE (SIGNED)
Dallas Goedert4$57M$14.3M26
Mark Andrews4$56M$14M24
David Njoku4$54.7M$13.7M25
Dawson Knox4$52M$13M25
Averages4$54.9M$13.7M25
Comparable TEs By Stats
PLAYERREC TGTREC/GMREC YDS/GMRATING
Goedert5.85443.581.4
Andrews6.414.2153.586.8
Njoku2.831.923.769.1
Knox4.262.732.461.9
Average4.843.2038.374.8
Schultz 2021-225.774.2743.073.5

Here’s what Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said about Schultz in July: “It’s not that we didn’t want him on a long-term deal. It’s just about getting to the right answer on that. And I think we ultimately will. I think Dalton’s going to be a long-term Cowboy here.”

If that’s the case, then Dallas might be wise to use some of their limited cap space ($5,283,310) on their star TE. Then again, they may prioritize RB Tony Pollard.

Don’t be surprised if they give him the franchise tag again, but that would only prolong things. After the 2023 season, Micah Parsons will be eligible for an extension and Trevon Diggs might become an unrestricted free agent if they don’t extend him this offseason. The clock is ticking.

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About The Author
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio
Anthony Puccio is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. Puccio has 10 years of experience in journalism and content creation, previously working for SB Nation, The Associated Press, New York Daily News, SNY, and Front Office Sports. In 2016, he received New York University's CCTOP scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in Communications from St. John's University. He can be spotted a mile away thanks to his plaid suits and thick New York accent. Don't believe us? Check his Twitter @APooch.